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Merriam-Webster announces its word of the year

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(PIX11) — Merriam-Webster named “culture” the word of the year.

“Culture is a big word at back-to-school time each year, but this year lookups extended beyond the academic calendar,” the company wrote on its website.

Merriam-Webster said the word allows us to identify and isolate an idea, issue or group. They referenced the phrases “culture of transparency” and “consumer culture” in their explanation.

The company also noted the word’s versatility, saying it can be used very broadly (as in “celebrity culture”) or specifically (as in “marching band culture”).

This year, the use of the word culture to define ideas has “moved from the classroom syllabus to the conversation at large, appearing in headlines and analyses across a wide range of topics,” the website said.

Runner-ups for the 2014 word of the year include nostalgia, insidious, legacy and feminism.