Trending Words This Week

Ligature

This week our top word was ligature. For two days, it trended in searches (increasing by 3690%).

Well, sadly, this word is trending due to the horrific story about the deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman in Toronto, Ontario. Barry was a pharmaceutical executive and a billionaire, but the couple was also known for their philanthropy. They both died from ligature neck compression, meaning "strangulation caused by binding or tying" (according to The Washington Post). It's still unclear if their deaths were homicides.

Grinch

Not a surprising one for this time of year . . . grinch increased in searches by 163%. And, yule was close behind at an increase of 89% this week.

We're only a couple days away from Christmas, so if you're feeling like a grinch, try to embrace the yule (and if you can't will that festive motivation, immerse yourself in some Christmas carols to learn more about the songs of this holiday season.)

Sparsely

Hm, sparsely increased in searches by 139% this week. Well, looks like Huffpost.com is to thank for that spike. Their article "Ex-Trump Aide Facing Felonies Teams Up With Eccentric Lobbyist Who Wants Mueller Fired," begins with the sentence: "A Republican lobbyist who hosted a sparsely attended fundraiser Tuesday for a former Trump campaign aide facing several felony charges called for President Donald Trump to fire special counsel Robert Mueller."

It's not surprising to see that people are interested in more allegations within the Trump administration . . . .

Coup d'etat

Coup, which is short for coup d'etat increased in searches by 15% this week. There was a lot of coup-talk from Republicans the past couple of days surrounding Mueller and his investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. And, it seems like debates from both ends of the political spectrum won't quiet down anytime soon regarding this topic . . . .

Inaugural

Another sad one . . . inaugural increased by 60% this week due to the Amtrak train that derailed on its inaugural run.

As a new high-speed commuter option from Seattle, Washington to Portland, Oregon, the train seemed to be going too fast (81 mph) around a curve and derailed, leaving 3 people dead. (Commuter also increased in searches by 112%.)

Tight

Tight increased in searches by 464% this week. It could be for a couple of reasons:

  1. Money and budgets can get tight this time of year. A lot of people are reading about how to make the most of their money.
  2. Tight oil. Fracking in countries outside of the US was newsworthy this week, as the oil industry looks for new places to find tight oil.

(According to the Shlumberger oilfield glossary, tight oil is "Oil found in relatively impermeable reservoir rock. Production of tight oil comes from very low permeability rock that must be stimulated using hydraulic fracturing to create sufficient permeability to allow the mature oil and/or natural gas liquids to flow at economic rates."

Acquitted

There were a couple acquittals this week, which seemed to have caused the searches for this word to increase by 194%.

  1. The Washington Post reports that "the first six people to face trial in Trump's Inauguration Day protests that turned destructive were acquitted of all charges."
  2. The Pensacola News Journal reports that "an Escambia County jury has acquitted an 80-year-old man of battery after he was charged for throwing a plastic water bottle after a protest at Pensacola's Confederate monument rally this summer."
  3. The Star reports that "A Montreal couple was ordered released from custody at the conclusion of a terrorism trial Tuesday in which they were acquitted. The couple has been in custody since their arrest in April 2015. "
  4. CBSDetroit reports that "A judge on Tuesday dismissed the lawsuit brought by a choreographer who alleged Michael Jackson molested him as a child, resolving one of the last major claims against the late singer’s holdings." This guy also testified for Michael Jackson in his 2005 criminal case in which he was acquitted.

Egress

This is an interesting one. Egress increased in searches by 248% this week, possibly due to the news story in Wyoming about a woman who was trapped in her basement during a house fire.

Turns out the firefighters were able to get inside and save her and her dog (!) by getting into the basement through an egress window. This alternate way out may be a smart addition to your household.

Conflated

Conflated was up 43% this week due to some remarks Matt Damon made in an interview with ABC News. He said:

"I think we’re in this watershed moment. I think it’s great. I think it’s wonderful that women are feeling empowered to tell their stories, and it’s totally necessary . . . I do believe that there’s a spectrum of behavior, right? And, we’re going to have to figure—you know, there’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right? Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?”

We're pretty sure he won't get off easy for this one.

Chionophobia

We can't blame those who have chionophobia (Dictionary.com's offices are in sunny California!).

It is hilarious though that chionophobia is a trending word this week. Wintertime must be hard for those that fear the snow!