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Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:24 PM

Socialism' and 'capitalism' are most looked-up words of 2012, dictionary says

Socialism' and 'capitalism' are most looked-up words of 2012, dictionary says

NEW YORK Thanks to the election, socialism and capitalism are forever wed as Merriam-Webster's most looked-up words of 2012.

Traffic for the unlikely pair on the company's website about doubled this year from the year before as the health care debate heated up and discussion intensified over "American capitalism" versus "European socialism," said the editor at large, Peter Sokolowski.

The choice revealed Wednesday was "kind of a no-brainer," he said. The side-by-side interest among political candidates and around kitchen tables prompted the dictionary folk to settle on two words of the year rather than one for the first time since the accolade began in 2003.

"They're words that sort of encapsulate the zeitgeist. They're words that are in the national conversation," said Sokolowski from company headquarters in Springfield, Mass. "The thing about an election year is it generates a huge amount of very specific interest."

Democracy, globalization, marriage and bigot all touched by politics made the Top 10, in no particular order. The latter two were driven in part by the fight for same-sex marriage acceptance.

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2012/12/socialism_and_capitalism_are_m.html

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