Every year some of the big dictionary companies select a Word of the Year, some word that had a big impact or influence on culture. This year's word has been a non-word, the "refudiate" that Sarah Palin coined in a Twitter post. The New York Times wants to argue that the real word of the year is "junk." But just because these were big words in politics and culture doesn't mean you can't pick your very own word of the year. So what was your word of your year? What captures what you were doing and feeling and thinking in the past 365 days?
It's a good exercise to think about, because it can help you think about what you did in the past year, what you'd like to do differently in the next year, and what your favorite moments were. Would your word be "summer" because of a great summer vacation? A tough vocab word from one of your classes that you conquered? Your favorite new word that you learned or read this year (favorite words of mine: "swift", "revulsion", "close")? Maybe an author you discovered this year ("Tolstoy", "Austen", "Hemingway") or a movie you loved ("Unforgiven, "Godfather", "Casablanca"). Or maybe it's just a feeling you had this year ("uncertainty", "courage", "forgiveness"). We're all trying to make narratives out of our lives, so try boiling down your year to just one key word. You may be surprised what you discover about your experiences and about yourself!