Thursday, November 27, 2014

Word of the Year

by Bill McBride on 11/27/2014 11:16:00 AM

Each year since 2003, Merriam-Webster has listed the Words of the Year mostly based on the frequency that each word was looked up that year.

Some years the "words of the year" have been relevant to Calculated Risk, as an example, in 2004 the word of the year was "blog" (CR was started in January 2005 partly because I was wondering what a "blog" was).  In 2008, the word of the year was "bailout", and in 2010 the word was "austerity".

For fun, here are a few suggestions for "word of the year" related to the blog since 2004 (I'm sure others will have better suggestions):

2004: Blog (Merriam-Webster)

2005: Bubble.  This was the peak year for the housing bubble (activity peaked in 2005, although prices peaked in early 2006).  Writing about the housing bubble was the main topic on the blog in 2005.

2006: Bust.  This was when the housing bust started.

2007: Subprime or Recession. It was 2007 that "subprime" started to be used by the general public. An alternative would be "recession" since the Great Recession started in December 2007, and a key topic on the blog all year was when the recession would start. Other words could be: delinquency, Alt-A, and NINJA (No income, jobs or asset loans).

2008: Bailout (Merriam-Webster).  Three alternatives could be "Financial Crisis", "TARP" and "foreclosure".

2009: Stimulus. An alternative could be "deflation".

2010: Austerity (Merriam-Webster).  Unfortunately austerity could be the "word of the year" for several years.

2011: Default.  This was the year Congress threatened to default on paying the bills.

2012: Short Sale.  This was probably the year that short sales peaked.  This was the year house prices bottomed (but I couldn't think of a "word")

2013: Shutdown.  In 2013, Congress shut down the government.

2014: Employment.  In May 2014, employment surpassed the pre-recession peak, and 2014 will be the best year for employment since the '90s.

2015: Wages (Just being hopeful - maybe 2015 will be the year that real wages start to increase)

Happy Thanksgiving to all!