Dictionary.com

Why Exposure Is Our 2014 Word of the Year

WOTY blog

In 2014, the Ebola virus, widespread theft of personal information, and shocking acts of violence and brutality dominated the news. Vulnerability and visibility were at the core of the year’s most notable headlines. Encapsulating those themes, Dictionary.com’s Word of the Year for 2014 is exposure.

The word exposure entered English in the early 1600s to refer to a state of being without shelter or protection. Over the course of the next few centuries, it picked up numerous meanings, four of which were particularly germane to 2014. In the spring, one of these took on grave importance:

Exposure: the condition of being exposed to danger or harm.

Over 14,000 cases of Ebola were counted in West Africa by mid-November of this year, with over 5,000 confirmed deaths. The outbreak was described by the World Health Organization as the “most severe acute health emergency in modern times.” Exposure to the disease was of paramount concern as health workers in countries including Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone struggled to contain the deadly virus and provide the best possible care to those infected.

In the US a second sense of exposure became increasingly relevant as the conversation about the virus spread through the airwaves. In the mid-1950s, a media-centric sense of exposure arose in the US to discuss the emerging power of broadcasting and advertising:

Exposure: the act of bringing to public attention, especially through media coverage; publicity.

Ebola gained widespread publicity within the US in late summer and early fall. In the three weeks spanning September 29 to October 17, around the time of Thomas Eric Duncan’s death in Dallas, three top network nightly news programs, ABC World News, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News, gave 28 percent of their total broadcast time to Ebola. Of that time, 11.7 percent was devoted to the outbreak in Africa. A poll released on October 8 by the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University in New Jersey revealed that people who consume high levels of Ebola-related news were the most confused on the topic. The media blitz eventually softened and large-scale fundraising efforts were launched by both Facebook and Google to support efforts in West Africa. The arc and nature of the publicity surrounding Ebola sparked discussion on not only the transmission of the virus, but also the transmission and distortion of ideas.

A third meaning of exposure set several critical conversations into motion in 2014:

Exposure: an act or instance of bringing to light, revealing, or unmasking crime, misconduct, or evil.

On August 9, Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black male, was fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. In the days following the shooting, residents of Ferguson took to the streets in protest. The police force there responded to the protests with riot gear, armored trucks, and tear gas. Social media saw an outpouring of activity exposing experiences of racism and prejudice far beyond Ferguson, often gaining traction with hashtags, most notably #IfTheyGunnedMeDown. On August 11, the FBI opened a civil rights inquiry into the shooting of Brown. On August 20, a grand jury began hearing evidence to determine whether to indict Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown. Awaiting the jury’s decision in November, the hacktivist group Anonymous began exposing the identities of members of the Ku Klux Klan and seized the KKK’s Twitter account after the hate group threatened to use “lethal force” against protesters. Ferguson became a flash point for discussions on racism, police militarization, and abuse of power, prompting many to reflect on how far we have come in the Obama era.

In February, the celebrity gossip site TMZ released footage of NFL player Ray Rice dragging his unconscious then-fiancée Janay Palmer out of an elevator in Atlantic City. The footage resulted in Rice’s suspension from two games in the season. The punishment earned widespread criticism, prompting the NFL to rethink their policy on domestic violence. In August, the NFL announced a new policy of a six-game unpaid ban for first offenses of domestic violence and a lifetime ban for second offenses. The following month, TMZ released footage of Rice punching Palmer inside the elevator; hours later Rice’s contract with the Baltimore Ravens was terminated. Set against the backdrop of these events, President Obama launched an initiative to raise awareness of sexual violence on college campuses, telling reporters at the campaign’s unveiling,”The fact is from sport leagues to pop culture to politics, our society does not sufficiently value women.”

In late summer, the world was exposed to two shocking acts of violence in graphic detail as the terrorist organization ISIS posted YouTube videos of the beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. For many, these videos, along with the organization’s methods of aggressive and direct engagement on social media, brought a terrifying and gruesome reality of our times into stark focus.

Exposure has another sense that pervaded the headlines and scandals of 2014:

Exposure: disclosure of something private or secret.

As our credit cards, passwords, and private photos were hacked, stolen, and distributed this year, we became aware of the vulnerability of personal information. In January, Target disclosed that 110 million customers had credit cards, pin numbers, and other information stolen. In April, the security bug Heartbleed was reported, revealing that millions of people’s passwords and behavior online was insecure. In September, Home Depot announced that 56 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen from their system, and in October, JPMorgan Chase revealed that contact information for about 76 million households and 7 million small businesses was hacked in a cyberattack over the summer.

Another form of stolen private information captured our attention this summer: in August, Apple’s iCloud was hacked resulting in the exposure of nude photos of over 100 celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, who called the attack a “sex crime” when she told Vanity Fair, “The law needs to be changed, and we need to change.” The widespread, involuntary exposure of personal information reminded us that our reliance on our technology introduces new kinds of risks.

From the pervading sense of vulnerability surrounding Ebola to the visibility into acts of crime or misconduct that ignited critical conversations about race, gender, and violence, various senses of exposure were out in the open this year. How did you see exposure in the news?

Dictionary.com’s 2014 Word of the Year from Dictionary.com on Vimeo.

View our Word of the Year infographic here.

Do you remember last year’s Word of the Year? Read about it here.

109 Comments

  1. ben -  December 16, 2014 - 3:31 pm

    “Free” will always be the winner in my book !!

    Reply
  2. […] not the only one handing out prizes to words, but they do have a unique claim to fame. Oxford, Dictionary.com, and the ADS all hand-select their words and publish lengthy manifestos explaining their […]

    Reply
  3. Word of the Year | London Moms -  December 15, 2014 - 11:32 pm

    […] announced that their WOTY for 2014 is CULTURE. Earlier, Oxford chose the word VAPE for 2014 and Dictionary.com has chosen […]

    Reply
  4. Over Exposure -  December 11, 2014 - 6:34 pm

    I think “substance” or “truth” would have been more meaningful – everything is subject
    to “exposure”…I what’s actually REAL?

    Reply
  5. John Griffin -  December 7, 2014 - 3:54 pm

    “Puckersnatch” should be “the word of the year” as long as ignorant nobody Barack is still in the “Offal” (now) Office admiring himself.

    Reply
    • David Ekler -  January 30, 2015 - 10:11 am

      You might think he ignorant, and wether or not he is in unimportant but to say he’s a nobody is a nobody is like saying that your life is equivalent to a gram of fiber that makes up a rotting cardboard box left out and forgotten about. Nobody deserves being called a nobody, even if you hate him he’s still human.
      P.S.: “Offal” really is it that difficult to spell “Oval”

      Reply
  6. Mexican Cowboy -  November 29, 2014 - 9:39 pm

    With the abundance of words available in the English language, I am perplexed by the chosen word for the year 2014 – exposure. In a time that was appropriately analyzed on its face as vulnerable, the analysis neglects to expose the complete record for the year 2014, and in my opinion, incomplete resulting in an inadequate word. Is 2014 simply exposure without response? Or is there hope and imagination abounding in the year 2014? Yes hope and imagination abound!

    As a fellow logophile, I humbly propose a second look at the headlines to determine the 2014 WORD of the YEAR, considering both the shock and awe headlines and the human reaction found in the after stories. Vulnerability and visibility may have been at the core of the year’s most notable headlines yet exposure is not the only word available to encapsulate the root causes and responses.

    I propose the 2014 WORD or the YEAR should be humanity.
    Introduced 1350-1400 during the Middle English period, the word humanity defines all human beings collectively, the human race or in a word humankind. The noun humanity celebrates the quality or condition of being human and expression of our human nature in passion, greed, and corruption alongside our ability to be humane, kind and benevolent.
    Considering the word will remain in perpetuity, humanity is well-balanced and complete in describing the people behind the headlines.

    Reply
    • Samia montoya -  December 21, 2014 - 10:09 pm

      An excellent point of view and definition of about what’s happening around the world. Exposure and vulnerability should be wrapped up as the as the definition of humanity or humankind. We all know that being human we are always exposed and vulnerable, that’s just a fact of life and certainly not saying very much about humanity or humankind. There is so much more about humanity or humankind then meets the eye.

      Reply
    • RSQ -  November 26, 2014 - 9:44 am

      Why are all the reasons negative? Could this word not have been elected for a positive sense?

      Reply
  7. Bob Hope -  November 24, 2014 - 9:01 am

    no pokemon shouldve been word of the year

    Reply
  8. anay -  November 24, 2014 - 6:30 am

    i think it should be:
    1. awesome
    2.epic
    3.lame
    4.epicfail

    Reply
  9. Demetry Cojocaru -  November 23, 2014 - 3:04 pm

    I think picking exposure was stupid because it just makes people want to cry.

    Reply
  10. CSA -  November 22, 2014 - 4:37 pm

    Dictionary.com asked on their homepage recently

    “If you could summarize 2014 in a single word, what would it be?”
    “Why did you pick this word?”

    I answered :”SAD” my explanation is below..and I see that they agreed!

    I answered:

    Long winter, death of comedians, beheadings, police brutality, “Apple”
    haters, public partiality for some and not for others (NFL, ESPN)
    further loss of American cohesion-locally, politically etc.

    Reply
  11. cam -  November 22, 2014 - 11:43 am

    this is a funny topic :)

    Reply
  12. Van Damme -  November 21, 2014 - 4:48 pm

    Well, as a professional Kumite fighter and a main character in a famous movie called BloodSport I would have liked the word of the year to be something like ‘fighting’, ‘boxing’, or ‘blood’. But the word I would have liked to be the word of the year the most would have been ‘Kumite’ which as I have mentioned before I am a professional at.

    Thank You Dictionary.com, Van Damme

    Reply
    • Matheus Montenegro -  November 22, 2014 - 10:29 am

      OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! THATS WHAT I GUESSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Reply
      • Matheus Montenegro -  November 22, 2014 - 10:30 am

        I GUESSED EBOLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Reply
        • Matheus Montenegro -  November 22, 2014 - 10:31 am

          Wait now i read the whole thing the word was not ebola. :(

          Reply
          • Matheus Montenegro -  November 22, 2014 - 10:32 am

            ;(;(;(;(;(

    • Marie -  November 23, 2014 - 8:37 am

      ‘Exposure’… Good word, good research and examples. Perhaps next year’s could be ‘Surveillance’.

      Reply
  13. Syntax -  November 21, 2014 - 12:56 pm

    Nice article and unbetterable video.

    Reply
    • ekatboy -  November 24, 2014 - 1:37 pm

      is unbetterable a word

      Reply
  14. Llelan D. -  November 21, 2014 - 4:03 am

    I am both impressed and disappointed by the choice of “exposure” as the word of the year.

    I am impressed with the thought process relating the different emergent meanings of the word to the more impactful issues of 2014 and with the consideration of how the word relates to the fundamental effect these issues are having upon people in almost any context. This stands in brilliant contrast to the so-called standards of language reference (like Oxford) who have devolved their criterion to usage popularity and Internet trends.

    However, I am disappointed in that the word does not represent the year with distinction. I can not think of a single year in which there were not issues that are also represented by the different meanings of the word. Since the word can equally represent all years, can it really be considered a word for just one or even a finite set of years? It just seems like the word is actually a lazy fall-back for those who gave up on looking for a word that distinctly represents a year.

    Reply
  15. Mike -  November 21, 2014 - 2:53 am

    Exposure is a fantastic word of the year. Exposure brings transparency. Transparency brings justice peace and harmony. I grant it won’t all happen overnight, but it will happen.

    You mention Ebola, that man made virus that has a patent number attached to it. The Ebola virus is being spread by the vaccination itself. All those being vaccinated get the virus.

    They (the psychopaths that run this planet at the moment), did this with the poor of the Indian, Mexican, and African peoples. The WHO and the FDA pushed huge vaccination programs onto poor of these Nations under the guise of preventing Cancer of the womb in young women. All these vaccinations did was to make these young women unable to bear children in the future.

    The culling agenda of humanity by the cabal goes on.The sooner these psychopaths are arrested and hung, or, jailed for life, the sooner mankind will live in peace and prosperity.

    Reply
    • Max Hallam -  November 21, 2014 - 2:15 pm

      Where is this claimed patent number? I’ve heard the stories and seen the tweets, but the patent number they point at does not exist or points to an entirely different record.

      Reply
    • Nemo -  November 24, 2014 - 12:49 pm

      Whaaaaat? That went weird fast.
      Why can’t we stick to what we know to be facts? By all means, question these if you will; but don’t hold up unfounded and specious conspiracy theories to be an indisputable truth.

      Reply
  16. marsha payette -  November 21, 2014 - 12:53 am

    i read that the word of the year for 2013 was privacy, interesting that word of the year this year is exposure… couldn’t those words be considered as opposites? yet privacy had been chosen for awareness of internet exposure, and now exposure is being chosen because of infectious disease affecting those who have limited capacity to contain illness with privacy? just a thought…

    Reply
  17. Kelly F -  November 20, 2014 - 11:41 pm

    Obviously Dictionary.com dd a good job in choosing a word for the year, just look at the fact people are doing more than just reading the blog and leaving, they feel the need to respond to the blog and to each other. I don’t think they’d have done their job right if the word wasn’t controversial to some degree. Or at least message provoking.
    As for Micheal Brown, all that matters is that he is gone. And he did nothing to deserve that. I think we can all agree on that. A similar incident happened a few years back in Toronto (Canada) The poor guy was on the back of the bus, i don’t remember the details, but police shot him and he had nothing but an umbrella. Cops later said they thought it was a rifle. I hope those officers had their eyes checked afterwards, I mean, there’s the way you hold a rifle and the way you hold your umbrella. Sad to see lives lost like this.
    As for Ebola, Why can’t the governments force pharmaceutical companies to make the vaccine by the truckload? What B.S. is it when Canada sits by and watches 4 years pass without forcing the company they chose to make the vaccine to get their S%T together? I’m embarrassed for my country. We are letting down the world by sitting on our hands when it comes to this vaccine. They should have had production up are running 24/7. I certainly want to know if it were to spread to Vancouver that I would have access to vaccines, but obviously not. I can’t be the only person thinking Canada has to revoke the license given to Newlink Genetics and get the human trials started already. 2015 is too late to start testing if 5000 are already dead. How many of them would have tested your vaccine willingly? I understand caution, of course we don’t want to give people something that is dangerous, and we need to know the minimum to use in order to stretch it, but by the time trials are over and that one dinky company puts out the vaccine it will be like 2016 or so. That is too late.

    Well, I guess I’ve joined the rants,oops!
    Peace all

    Reply
  18. 1234567890 -  November 20, 2014 - 5:09 pm

    I think that this should be blindly ignored (j.k)

    Reply
  19. Adriane -  November 20, 2014 - 3:09 pm

    That is two words

    Reply
  20. damion -  November 20, 2014 - 12:18 pm

    ebola is serious and is spreading in Africa

    Reply
  21. damion -  November 20, 2014 - 12:17 pm

    Ebola is serious

    Reply
    • I will not show my name -  November 21, 2014 - 4:39 pm

      Well Duh! Obviously Ebola is serious! Who in the world didn’t know that?!

      Reply
    • clayton -  November 24, 2014 - 8:21 am

      well it not making fun of it. it is just the word of the year

      ebola

      Reply
  22. Get your facts straight -  November 20, 2014 - 9:45 am

    I am so tired of people wanting to defend these officers may be he should have got a promotion like the 2 white officers that beat a little black girl unconscious just because she was black. It makes no sense why he is not in jail. “it’s not a racism thing” You all get mad at us for getting sick and tired of the constant abuse and no justice. The fact is we live in a white nation African Americans are just foreigners that they bought and released we will never get the the justice we deserve. But it says” for liberty and justice for all” bull-crap. I can’t even go outside without wondering if I am going to be shot the next second . You don’t realize that there are still many white people that would rather us to be picking cotton in a field. You’re saying he stole things and they said Trevon Martin was armed and the only thing he had was an ice tea and skittle they also said he stole something to. How ironic. George Zimmerman was not white which shows you how many people do not like us. At least there are some decent people in the world. I am not saying black people don’t do any thing wrong because that would be one big lie but just no the difference between facts and people trying to cover their dirt up.

    Reply
    • Lalesha -  November 20, 2014 - 12:32 pm

      I agree! I’m a 30 year old white woman who is sick and tired of all this prejudice nonsense. We should be beyond all this by now! The Trevon Martin case had me in tears! And I’m finding that every time I turn on the news my heart sinks due to another case of racism and pure stupidity. Racism is not the only issue with all these cases but it is a HUGE one. All these officers pull out their guns at a whim and that shouldn’t be allowed. I have two sons and even though they are white I’m still in fear for them. These officers are getting ridiculous and it’s time we review our laws and stop allowing these officers to kill at their own discretion!

      Reply
    • Jale -  November 20, 2014 - 4:33 pm

      I totaly agree but dirtbags is a bit harsh dont you think.

      Reply
      • JaKe -  November 20, 2014 - 4:34 pm

        i meant jake my name is jake

        Reply
        • clayton -  November 24, 2014 - 8:26 am

          really dirtbag

          Reply
      • adam gunn -  November 21, 2014 - 9:11 am

        Nobody ever said ‘dirtbag.’ Quit putting words in other people’s mouths.

        Reply
    • Victoria -  November 20, 2014 - 7:35 pm

      Not all white people are bad you know not all white people are prejudust not all weight people think African Americans should be in the Cotten fields picking Cotten but on the other hand not all African Americans are bad but just like white people I think every should be equal but we’re not wemen and men aren’t equil white people and African Americans are not equil but they should be because people are people but the wild can not be changed by pretty words alone it takes action to make things happen and one person can’t change the world with out a little help I’m not saying all African Americans are bad or good but neither are white people I do not support what those officers did I think you should Jude by what’s on the inside instead if what’s on the outside I am sorry you feel that way but just remember every dog backs if they don’t know the person

      Reply
      • Victoria -  November 20, 2014 - 7:38 pm

        I ment world and judgeand barks my phone is acting up

        Reply
    • Dave -  November 20, 2014 - 7:39 pm

      Yet we elected an African American president. If you feel that the country is as racist as you say, why on earth would you continue living here? Fraught with such danger and prejudice, and terrified to leave your own home ? For God sakes , seek refuge in a safer country! Umm, what country would you suggest??

      The “word of the year” is nonsense- especially because the explanation for its selection has sparked such silly outrage by the likes of the previous commentator.

      Reply
      • Dingy -  November 22, 2014 - 6:54 am

        Thanks Dave.
        Finally the real answer we needed.
        Quit crying people. The world sucks and is full of psycho bullies who carry guns and think differently than you.

        Reply
    • Nemo -  November 24, 2014 - 12:55 pm

      Jeff, that’s outta line. That kind of judgmenting doesn’t get anyone anywhere.

      Reply
  23. M G Cannon -  November 20, 2014 - 8:22 am

    The word of the year should have been deceitful; our government at the highest levels time and time again have operated on the assumption that the vast majority of the American electorate is stupid; apathetic with no ability to know what is good for them.
    The Obama administration; which touted from the start would be the most transparent executive office ever maybe the worst since the Nixon Administration. Maybe the worst ever in this great countries history. Some of the highest ranking officials in our government from President Obama, to the Senate majority leader Reid, House minority leader Pelosi to Secretary of State Clinton and Attorney Gen. Holder have not been forthright at best and may have lied to the American public at worst on issues like; the Affordable Health Care Act; Fast and Furious; Benghazi even politicizing and dividing the country on the Ferguson, MO shooting and the inept handling of Ebola. The President now has plans to continue to over reach his executive authority concerning immigration another act laced with deceitful rhetoric. These are all significant reasons for choosing deceitful as the true word of the year.
    Maybe if there were enough honest journalism in the news media more people in this country and around the world would know the truth and exposure would have been validated as the word of the year. Again another validation for the word of the year to be DECEITFUL.

    Reply
    • Lalesha -  November 20, 2014 - 12:24 pm

      Amen!

      Reply
    • Limbaugh is a fat idiot -  November 20, 2014 - 1:34 pm

      Yes, people like you who get their “news” from the likes of Limbaugh, Beck, Palin and Faux News are stupid. Sure, the Obama administration has made its share of mistakes, but to even equate it with some of the worst in American history just betrays the level of your historical ignorance. If you look at the American history, some of the most corrupt and inept presidents were Republican. U.S. Grant, Warren Harding, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush to name the most prominent. How many American people died from the implementation of ACA, the ebola outbreak, Benghazi ( the Right’s fascination with this event is truly bordering on OCD) combined? Now compare that with how many Americans died from Bush’s willful lie about WMD in Iraq? How about his administration’s failure to police the financial world that led to the worst recession since the Great Depression. If not the ACA, what’s GOP’s answer to tackling the plight of 50 million or so uninsured Americans and taming the cost of ever escalating health care cost? Other than the usual “Just trust the market” non-solution, nothing.

      Reply
      • M G Cannon -  November 21, 2014 - 10:04 am

        Keep drinking the koolaid and watching MSNBC and Jon Stewart and reading People mag…and the Democrat party’s architects will continue to call the people stupid. But I guess you have not heard about that because no network and only Fox News reported that story; about the learned professor from MIT Jonathan Gruber who has great admiration for those that feel the way you do.Liberals are generally unable to articulate a coherent argument they get frustrated when facing the truth…that is why the Democrats love their base they can tell them anything and they accept it hook, line and sinker. Instead of looking at all the facts it is easier for liberals to call people names and pick out the parts of history that suit their feelings. The entire free world believed WMD’s existed; go back and hear things Hillary Clinton and John Kerry stood on the Senate floor and said. Not to mention how many times the weak links of the UN so powerfully pened resolutions condemning Iraq and demanding inspections drawing as this President does lines in the sand then do nothing. And just because they did not find any does not mean WMD’s never existed. Health Insurance cost; that is a good one; this President’s AHC act will be brutal on millions of middle class Americans but not the elites this administration runs with. Another liberalism is how quickly they forget what they said or who they knew.

        Reply
  24. RazerShark -  November 20, 2014 - 6:06 am

    sorry about saying that two times my pc froze

    Reply
  25. RazerShark -  November 20, 2014 - 6:05 am

    I’m happy I don’t live in America……….. oh wait.

    0____________0

    Reply
  26. RazerShark -  November 20, 2014 - 6:03 am

    I’m happy I don’t live in America……….. oh wait.

    Reply
    • Jake -  November 20, 2014 - 4:35 pm

      why

      Reply
  27. Imbecile -  November 20, 2014 - 4:23 am

    i thought the world of the year was imbecile

    Reply
  28. TurningLeaves -  November 19, 2014 - 11:29 pm

    I think the word of the year is really fitting and I also think I don’t have to be the only who isn’t going to whine about this blog.

    Reply
  29. Priya -  November 19, 2014 - 10:09 pm

    I agree. Further, regardless of whether the cop was black or white, the truth is that he shot Michael. The issue of racism does not relate to him being afraid to disobey the cop. Perhaps he did not want to bow down to the white cop. We do not know what happened except that the boy died at the hands of the cop and he cannot give his side of the story.

    Reply
  30. adam gunn -  November 19, 2014 - 7:57 pm

    Excuse me, but it’s only the middle of November. There’s still 13% of the year left. Could something drastic happen in these next six weeks that could push “exposure” off the charts – of course there is.

    ‘X of the year’ should NEVER be published, IMHO, until after the 25th of December.

    Reply
    • no one cares, adam -  December 3, 2014 - 8:16 am

      you’re posting in a forum full of trolls and teenagers and somehow managed to leave the least valuable of all the comments on this article. congrats

      Reply
  31. Greysonlam -  November 19, 2014 - 6:13 pm

    PEWDIEPIE

    Reply
    • Markiplier -  November 20, 2014 - 4:23 pm

      Bruh

      Reply
    • Jake -  November 20, 2014 - 4:35 pm

      No smoshgames.

      Reply
  32. CleanFun -  November 19, 2014 - 3:55 pm

    That was rather anticlimactic.

    Reply
  33. I will never be back to check your replies -  November 19, 2014 - 1:43 pm

    Everyone reading this comment should be ashamed that they, by choice, are visiting and then commenting on the dictionary.com blog. You go, you. You go.

    Reply
    • matt -  November 20, 2014 - 2:01 am

      Take a concrete tablet mate..people can do what they want

      Reply
    • liar -  November 20, 2014 - 4:56 pm

      you’ll be back

      Reply
  34. Oni -  November 19, 2014 - 12:23 pm

    Why does this have to take over the entire Dictionary.com homepage exactly? Can we just bring it back to normal and this can be the blog segment? Poor web design.

    Reply
  35. Monsterdog9 -  November 19, 2014 - 10:16 am

    seresily the word the years is Ebola ! That’s just so stupid, I would think the word would be more , series .

    Reply
    • Lalesha -  November 20, 2014 - 7:59 am

      The word of the year is not Ebola. The word of the year is EXPOSURE. Ebola is just one of the many, many reasons why…

      Reply
      • BUNNY -  November 20, 2014 - 2:57 pm

        I LIKE BUNNIES

        Reply
    • kingKiwi -  November 20, 2014 - 7:39 pm

      And you “seresily” need to learn to spell. Ebola does not describe our year. Exposure does; people get exposed to ebola and various other acts of exposure happened throughout the year.

      Reply
  36. OldNassau -  November 19, 2014 - 9:28 am

    “Intolerance” also flourished – or “anti” as a prefix: anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-Moslem, anti Christian, anti-women anti-Obamacare….the list is endless.

    Reply
  37. Dictionary.com Word of the Year 2014: 'Exposure' -  November 19, 2014 - 7:44 am

    […] Ebola. Ferguson, Mo. Ray Rice. ISIS. Data breaches. Nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence. The editors and lexicographers at Dictionary.com see all these people and places that drove the news in 2014 connected through a single word: exposure, their pick for 2014′s word of the year. […]

    Reply
    • Wetzer -  November 19, 2014 - 3:49 pm

      Why would Jennifer Lawrence have nude pics on ICloud? I dunt getit

      Reply
  38. Susan Anderson -  November 19, 2014 - 7:43 am

    While it is extremely sad that Michael Brown lost his life, he was not the innocent teenager as the media has portrayed him to be. Minimal “exposure” was given to the fact that Michael used his size and strength to bully the clerk in the store where Michael had stolen some items. When the clerk tried to stop him, the clerk was physically threatened. While we don’t know what actually happened between the officer and Michael, Michael’s belligerence toward the store clerk speaks volumes–once a bully, always a bully. This is not a race issue, but rather a character issue. Irrespective of Michael’s skin color, he chose wrong over right. If there was really rampant, and true racism in Ferguson, Michael would have been afraid to disobey a white cop. It’s obvious that Michael was not afraid. The actual racism in Ferguson is being perpetrated by the protesters who are trying to crucify a cop because he is white. The media seems to be too afraid to “expose” that!

    Reply
    • n/a -  November 19, 2014 - 12:35 pm

      That is so true Susan. There is too much propaganda in the media these days.

      P.S. Monsterdog9 learn how to spell. That was atrocious.

      Reply
    • Juan -  November 19, 2014 - 12:51 pm

      “once a bully, always a bully”

      Yeah, no. People change.

      Reply
      • Wetzer -  November 19, 2014 - 3:50 pm

        Exactly. Thank you Juan.

        Reply
      • BlackisBeautiful -  November 19, 2014 - 5:59 pm

        So true. The race card needs to be finally played the other way. Who is the minority? People paying their taxes, doing the right thing and working hard. The black vs white race thing is a media-hyped joke.

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      • Priyanka -  November 19, 2014 - 10:08 pm

        I agree. Further, regardless of whether the cop was black or white, the truth is that he shot Michael. The issue of racism does not relate to him being afraid to disobey the cop. Perhaps he did not want to bow down to the white cop. We do not know what happened except that the boy died at the hands of the cop and he cannot give his side of the story.

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      • Priya -  November 19, 2014 - 10:09 pm

        I agree. Further, regardless of whether the cop was black or white, the truth is that he shot Michael. The issue of racism does not relate to him being afraid to disobey the cop. Perhaps he did not want to bow down to the white cop. We do not know what happened except that the boy died at the hands of the cop and he cannot give his side of the story.

        Reply
      • Susan Anderson -  November 20, 2014 - 9:06 am

        Dear Juan and Wetzer,

        People don’t change within minutes of having bullied someone! Michael’s propensity for bullying was, unfortunately, part of his character.

        The ONLY way that people can truly change sinful behavior is through the power of the Holy Spirit AFTER they have repented of their sin. Repentance means to turn away from wrong-doing; to right-doing.

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      • Susan Anderson -  November 20, 2014 - 9:43 am

        Dear Juan and Wtzer,

        People don’t change within minutes of bullying someone. Michael’s propensity for bullying was, unfortunately, part of his character.

        The only way people can truly change negative behavior is by the power of the Holy Spirit AFTER they have repented of their sin. Repentance means to turn away from wrong-doing and turn to right-doing—it’s an attitude of the heart.

        Reply
        • Susan Anderson -  November 20, 2014 - 9:45 am

          I guess it was worth repeating…

          Love you guys! :-)

          Reply
    • Selena Okole -  November 19, 2014 - 7:18 pm

      I’m sorry, did you just say that a college-bound young man threatening a store clerk (even though he was unarmed) deserves the death penalty? Additionally, the Ferguson PD long ago admitted that Michael Brown had nothing whatsoever to do with the theft, and that they were lying the whole time to cover it up. An autopsy performed by one of the best in the nation found that Michael Brown had his hands raised when he was shot. It’s a fact that race was a key factor in Brown’s death–please do not deny this.

      Reply
    • J.P. Nettles -  November 19, 2014 - 7:43 pm

      Well written Susan.

      I think an antonym of expose would be a better choice for 2014. Expose only works in a negative connotation, e.g. – the public will not be exposed to a version of the Ferguson case that is not politically correct.

      Seems like everyday we learn more about what wasn’t exposed in ObamaCare.

      The media didn’t “expose” anything which didn’t fit their agenda.

      Sadly 2014 was more about what was hidden.

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      • Susan Anderson -  November 21, 2014 - 7:19 am

        Good one, J.P.! :-)

        Reply
    • Lalesha -  November 20, 2014 - 8:38 am

      I understand where you’re coming from and I do agree with some of what you are saying. However, Michael obeying or disobeying the white officer nor his fear of the white officer have anything to do with racism. Michael would have no knowledge of this white officers agenda nor his racial preferences and opinions. Therefore, Michael would not know if the white officer was or was not prejudice and decide to obey him based on that fact. I acknowledge Michael made a poor decision in stealing and intimidating the store clerk and I would never condone that behavior, however people do make mistakes, especially in their youth and I can’t bring myself to say that those particular incidents justify death.

      Reply
    • Get your facts straight -  November 20, 2014 - 9:29 am

      you say it is a character issue and not a racist thing but how do you know? You automatically think he was a bully because of his size? If you are not African-american or of some other minority you do not understand the struggles of our culture like every time you walk in the store people assume that your stealing or just some other “ghetto” black person there have been many white officers killing black people but Micheal brown is one of the few that got recognized. The bottom line is he did not deserved to be killed. Nobody does. Also I bet your opinion would change if that was your son. African -American people are tired of being abused and our voices not being heard to many events have not been justified like a young black male asking a white officer why he is getting pulled over but the officer never replied he just broke his car window and tased him in front of his kids. You want us to stop judging white officers and assuming about them, then tell them to stop doing evil things in front of children and mabey they won’t grow up hating white police officers.

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      • Susan Anderson -  November 20, 2014 - 6:26 pm

        Children, children, children– I must forgive you for being so obtuse–”He that has an ear, let him hear.”

        I never said that Michael deserved a “death penalty,” Selena. I am truly sad that he died, and as a mother of sons, I grieve for Michael’s mother. But, we are all responsible for our choices, and sometimes there are unexpected consequences for our choices. Whether or not Michael was college-bound has no bearing whatsoever on the events of that day.

        Furthermore, Selena, what you are calling facts are just conjecture. The Grand Jury has not yet determined whether there is enough evidence to even bring charges against the officer, but you, and others have already tried and convicted him. If the Grand Jury decides to indict, there will be a trial, & any evidence presented will become part of the public record. Until, then please stop pre-judging. I hope you never fall victim to this “lynch mob” way of thinking and acting—you know the kind that is now threatening the Grand Jury with violence if they fail to indict the officer.

        Lalesha, I was trying to point out that IF racism was/is rampant in Ferguson, Michael would have been afraid of the possible consequences for disobeying a “white officer.” I think Michael’s belligerence worked against him that day, but he absolutely did not deserve to die for his misdeed(s). As I previously stated, sometimes there are unexpected consequences for our choices. Some consequences are more tragic than others—Michael’s death is a prime example of that.

        Dear “Get your facts straight,” I wish that you would “practice what you preach.” Michael’s size did not make him a bully, but he clearly used his size to intimidate that clerk; did you actually see the video clip? Michael’s propensity for bullying revealed a flaw in his character. Regardless of our backgrounds, there is never an excuse to choose wrong-doing over right-doing.

        Thank God that Dr. King did not espouse your way of thinking. In fact, your way of thinking and justifying wrong-doing is an insult to his memory. He would be ashamed of you! I firmly believe in personal accountability. I don’t make excuses for my wrong-doing, and I don’t tolerate self-justification in others, either.

        As my sons were approaching their teen years, I reminded them about obeying the “Law of the Land” (based on Bible teaching with which they were quite familiar). I also told them that if they ever did break the law that I would personally turn them in to the authorities. My sons knew from experience that I meant what I said. Happily, that scenario was never played out.

        GYFS, there’s one more thing I’d like to address—police officers are only human; humans err—skin color has nothing to do with it! Our police men and women put their lives on the line every day, trying to uphold the law and protect law-abiding citizens. Many are killed or maimed in the line of duty. Hate against cops or anyone is outright SIN! In fact, Jesus equated “hate” with “murder.” Dr. King preached the love of God, and only God’s love shed abroad in our hearts can remove hate, and other sins FROM our hearts & minds.. “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:45 (NIV) Let us all allow God to purify our hearts.

        Reply
      • anonymous -  November 21, 2014 - 8:02 am

        boo exposure!It should be interrobang!

        Reply
    • Oni -  November 21, 2014 - 7:22 am

      If everyone would just shut up about race, then future generations wouldn’t even notice nor care. Nationality is what should be important, and seeing as we are all American, we in theory should be united and able to work together. That isn’t the case however, we are more of a stew than a melting pot. I think their are too manner cases of racial profiling on all ends and it’s bs. Also, just want to say that it’s annoying when someone says that a white person is “acting black” or a black person is “acting white” what does that mean exactly? If a white person grew up in the same neighborhood as a black person, isn’t it possible they have the same culture? Just saying, people always like to be the victim but lets get proactive about this and strive for peace, damn.

      Reply
      • Oni -  November 21, 2014 - 7:28 am

        I’m black btw, just to tack that on to give some perspective…oh, and let me go ahead and apologize for those grammatical errors above. Just gonna nip that in the bud…yep, I think that’s all I got. *drops mic*

        Reply
        • Susan Anderson -  November 21, 2014 - 10:39 am

          Don’t worry about any errors, Oni; it’s all good. BTW, I thought all of us humans were different shades of beige. :-)

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      • Susan Anderson -  November 21, 2014 - 10:35 am

        Well said, Oni. We adults need to have the innocence of babies and little children; they’re “color blind” until prejudiced adults pollute their minds. :-(

        Reply
      • PhelanVelvel -  November 23, 2014 - 1:04 am

        I was right there with you until you said “nationality is what should be important”. The blind worship of “nationality” has been responsible for so many atrocities in the past and inhibits us from reaching mutual peace and understanding with the rest of the people on this planet. I agree that it’s important for a nation to work together, but it should do so to bring goodness to the world in general as well as its own people. Love of “nationality” is part of what keeps North Koreans indoctrinated and allowed German citizens to buy into Hitler’s propaganda. We do not, in fact, bleed red, white, and blue, and no one should unquestioningly adulate his country just because they play the national anthem before sports events. People in other countries have the same capacity for intelligence, emotion, kindness, evil, and hatred as we do; we are all people.

        Reply

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