Lexiteria Picks Top Word of 2005

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The Lexiteria continues its 6-year tradition of picking the word of the year.

Pandemic stood out because of the threat of a pandemic of the avian flu

The Lexiteria, the world's leading custom dictionary and word list creator, has announced its top word of the year 2005. The decision was made by The Lexiteria’s staff after polling the visitors to its popular website, alphaDictionary.com. This year’s top word is “pandemic.”

According to Dr. Robert Beard, the president of The Lexiteria, the company sought a word that stood out in the press, on the Web, and in conversations in the English-speaking world. "Pandemic" replaced the overused and less specific "epidemic" throughout the English press.

"Pandemic stood out because of the threat of a pandemic of the avian flu," said Beard. "However, the year also saw a pandemic of terrorist attacks in London, New Delhi, Amman, Bali, not to mention a pandemic of hurricanes that has plagued cities all along the US Atlantic and Gulf for several years now."

The word is made up of two Greek words, pan "all" and demos "people", the same root found in democracy = people rule "government by the people." The word epidemic came from Greek epi "on, after" + demos but has come to mean "large-scale outbreak of disease" in English.

The Lexiteria staff decided against new, untried words like "podcast", "dumpster-diving", "flexitarian", "vegan" because it is not clear that they will survive. The electronic revolution has given rise to hundreds of new words that are likely to be replaced in the future.

The Lexiteria is a major provider of custom word lists, word frequency lists, glossaries and dictionaries to the largest US publishing houses, pharmaceutical testing companies, and web companies. It's language resource website, alphaDictionary.com, offers authentic insights into language, help in spelling and grammar, plus language fun, such as its very popular Yankee-Rebel test.

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