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And the Word of 2018 Is… Justice

Women sing during a Mass for solidarity and peace Aug. 24 at St. James Cathedral Basilica in Brooklyn, N.Y. During the service, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio announced the establishment of a new diocesan commission for social justice. (Photo: Catholic News Service/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Justice is a word that creates so many emotions and reactions. Merriam Webster has named the noun its Word of the Year for 2018. The word saw a 74 percent spike on the company’s website from the previous year.

This past year the news was filled with stories from Robert Mueller’s investigation of President Donald Trump, the Justice Brett Kavanaugh hearings and of course,  everyday issues of race, gender and societal relations.

“The concept of justice was at the center of many of our national debates in the past year: racial justice, social justice, criminal justice, economic justice. In any conversation about these topics, the question of just what exactly we mean when we use the term justice is relevant, and part of the discussion,” explains the Merriam Webster website, announcing the Word of the Year.

People in Brooklyn seem to think the same way.

Cherry Jimenez hopes the word can inspire changes she said.

“It is a good choice as we need that word in the world now more than ever. People need justice. Many days, I think there is not enough of it in the world. Hearing that the word is recognized is only a small step in the to making the world a better place,” she said.

Steve Walsh looks at the positive side of things. “It is a word that plays a part in every part of our lives,” he said.

“Every day we might not use the word but we do see examples of it being acted out. Being the word of the year is good to hear and creates hope that we are moving in the right direction.”

Sean Cordes feels the word “justice” is a strong word as the world looks forward to 2019.

“Hopefully people hear that and are the start of creating more justice in the world. Everyone plays a role and everyone has to be all in for us to make a difference. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, let’s pray and hope that 2019 is a year of better.”

Other words that spiked in popularity on the Merriam Webster website in 2018 included nationalism, pansexual, lodestar, epiphany, laurel, respect, maverick and excelsior.

Some past Words of the Year were feminism in 2017; surreal in 2016; -ism in 2015; culture in 2014; science in 2013; socialism in 2012 and pragmatic in 2011.

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