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Good Sign for the Economy: 'Greed' Makes a Comeback

An encouraging sign that things are getting back to normal: Greed is making a comeback.

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Dictionary.com revealed its most searched-for words of 2009, as well as the biggest gainers, decliners and misspelled words of the year.

“Esurient,” a synonym for greed, was the top gainer, with a ninefold increase in searches for the term. Meanwhile, “cynical” was among the top 10 decliners.

The results were based on searches of the 43 million people who use dictionary.com each month on the Internet, iPhone and BlackBerry .

Of course, people are still "suffering" and "Twitter"-ing — both search terms were on the rise this year.

Also on the rise was "callipygian," a term that means — and I am not making this up — "having well-shaped buttocks." The term, coined in the 17th century, originated as a reference to the statue of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. (You can draw your own conclusions as to why that one was on the rise this year!)

Some things never change: The No. 1 most searched-for term was “affect” — showing that a lot of people still don’t know the difference between affect and effect.

You might be appalled to know that “appalled” was one of the most misspelled words of 2009. Ironically, so was “inadvertently.” (Irony was among the most-searched for, but not misspelled, terms.)

Curiously, “love” and “integrity” were also in the top-ten searched words. You have to wonder: What’s the world come to, if people are looking for love and integrity in the dictionary?!

I dunno. Maybe we should ask Aphrodite.

Top Searched Words of 2009
1. Affect
2. Ubiquitous
3. Irony
4. Socialism
5. Effect
6. Melancholy
7. Love
8. Integrity
9. Nostalgic
10. Pedantic

Top Gainers of 2009
1. Esurient
2. Impeded
3. Shuddering
4. Fugacious
5. Suffering
6. Negative
7. Namaste
8. Adjuvant
9. Callipygian
10. Twitter

Top Decliners of 2009

1. Bush
2. Maverick
3. Solace
4. Liberal
5. Obsequious
6. Rhetoric
7. Superfluous
8. Condescending
9. Cynical
10. Ostentatious

Top Misspelled Words of 2009

1. Perseverance
2. Convenient
3. Embarrassed
4. Prerogative
5. Pretentious
6. Appalled
7. Genius
8. Definitely
9. Inadvertently
10. Separate


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