There are several “words of the year” lists that come out annually. The might be useful for advanced English Language Learners, but I think they can be more effectively used in Theory of Knowledge classes (plus, they’re fun to read for English teachers 🙂 )
You might also be interested in The Best “Words Of The Year” Features For 2010.
Here are my choices for The Best “Words Of The Year” Features For 2011:
‘Occupy’: Geoff Nunberg’s 2011 Word Of The Year is from NPR.
2011 Word of the Year? ‘Pragmatic’ is from The Star.
Word Of The Year 2011 According To Dictionary.com Is ‘Tergiversate’ is from The Huffington Post.
Merriam-Webster names “pragmatic” word of 2011 is from CBS News.
Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2011: ‘squeezed middle’ is from…The Oxford Dictionaries.
Poll: What Is 2011′s Word of the Year? is from TIME.
Top Words of 2011, ‘Occupy’ is 2011 Word of the Year is from The Global Language Monitor.
American Dialect Society To Choose Word Of The Year is from NPR.
The Year in Words, 2011 Edition is from The Visual Thesaurus.
What we talked about in 2011 is from The Boston Globe.
Philanthropy Buzzwords of 2011 comes from The Chronicle Of Philanthropy.
Which Words Will Live On? is from The New York Times.
2011 in Words is from The Wall Street Journal.
The words of 2011 is from Cambridge Dictionaries.
List of banned words for 2012 includes ‘man cave,’ ‘baby bump,’ ‘occupy’ is from USA Today.
What’s It Been A Good Year For? Here’s The Word(s) is from NPR.
What the Words of the Year Say About Us is from TIME.
Words we don’t want to lose is from Salon.
Additional suggestions are welcome.
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You might also want to explore the over 800 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.