`In a year filled with political wrangling, natural disasters and pop culture curiosities, Americans turned to Merriam-Webster to help define it all.
Filibuster. Refugee. Tsunami. Each was among the dictionary publisher’s 10 most frequently looked-up words among some 7 million users of its online site.
But topping the list is a word that some say gives insight into the country’s collective concern about its values: Integrity. [..]
Ralph Whitehead, a journalism professor at the University of Massachusetts, said it may indicate the continuing discussion about American values and morality, or perhaps that integrity itself is becoming scarce so its definition is unfamiliar. [..]
No. 10 on the list is “inept,” a word that Morse said was getting a lot of attention in the days after President Bush delivered a live prime time news conference that came to an awkward end when some television networks cut him off to return to their regularly scheduled programs.’