Word of the Year


photo by Greg Markway

Did you know there is actually a word of the year? According to Dictionary.com, the word for 2012 is bluster. This is how they define bluster:

to roar and be tumultuous, as wind.
to be loud, noisy, or swaggering; utter loud, empty menaces or protests: He blusters about revenge but does nothing.

They cited the election and the weather as being the two big stories of 2012, and aptly noted that there was a lot of bluster involved in both.

There is also another Word of the Year project that takes place. I first heard about it from reading Brene´ Brown’s blog, Ordinary Courage. She selected a single word that she used as a touch point to guide her through the year. Her word was “light.” Brene´ got the idea from Ali Edwards, who runs an entire e-course on using a word of the year for self-growth.  Ali writes:

A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can be sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow. From my own personal experience, it can be a catalyst for enriching your life.

As 2013 approaches, I started to think, “Maybe I need a word for the year.”  I tried talking with Greg about it. After explaining the concept to him, our conversation went something like this:

Barb: I wonder what my word of the year could be? (not getting much of a response, so I prod him.)

Greg:  I don’t know. Maybe your word should be “word.”

Barb: What? Why would my word be “word”? That makes no sense. You’re not taking this seriously.

After bantering back and forth a bit (good-naturedly, off course) , I decided there is a gender difference in what gets written and read on the internet. It’s not that he’s not taking it seriously, he just doesn’t relate. He’s the most caring and sensitive man I know, but he doesn’t read the same kind of blogs I read.  Selecting a word for the year simply isn’t something he’d ever think about doing.

I’m going to pick a word for the year. I’m not yet sure what it will be, and I wonder how I’ll ever keep it to a single word.

Brene´ said she didn’t want the word “light” to be her word (I’m not sure why; it’s a good word). She said that the word picked her. It kept popping up in her mind.

Ali says the word can be practical or fanciful. It can be a feeling word or an action word. It can be a word that represents what you want more of–or less of–in your life.

Later in the day, we were shooting some footage for a new video I’m working on. I was throwing colored tissue paper scraps into the air when Greg exclaimed, “Your word should be color!” At least he was trying.

photo by Greg

12 thoughts on “Word of the Year

  1. Chris Brogan (a business/media expert) chooses three words each year. And I did pick three words for this year, though at the moment I honestly can’t remember what they are! I remember choosing the words very intentionally, but I never came up with a process to keep them top of mind every day, so I never really did anything with them.

    For 2013, I think I’m going to do a phrase. I have one in mind, just need to sit with it for a bit to see if it will stick. Then I do need to come up with a way to actually use it!

    • I hope you blog about your phrase. I think I have my word picked out, but like you, I’m sitting with it a bit.

  2. Hmm. A word for the year – I think this is a fantastic idea, but like you, I have no idea what my word could be. I’m going to be thinking about this, though. I have a lot of plans for 2013, so maybe I’ll find my word somewhere within them. Thanks, Barb!

  3. Thanks, Lisa! My husband takes most of them. I say I’m going to learn to take my own, but he’s so good at it I don’t have a lot of motivation. I like to say I’m the director–I tell him what I want and he does it 🙂

  4. I have a phrase for the year (though it is quite broad and might stick with me for a few decades or so :-D) -> To add value to the world and lead by example ❤ Thanks for the lovely post (again).


  5. Pingback: The Theme of 2013: Do More, Think Less « The Shyness Project

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