These word lists started in 2003 and have been published at the end of each year.
At first, Merriam-Webster determined its contents by analyzing page hits and popular searches on its website.
Since 2006, the list has been determined by an online poll and by suggestions from visitors to the website.The Words of the Year usually reflect events that happened during the years the lists were published.
For example, the Word of the Year for 2005, 'integrity', showed that the general public had an immense interest in defining this word amid ethics scandals in the United States government, corporations, and sports.
The Word of the Year for 2004, 'blog', was looked up on the Online Dictionary the most as blogs began to influence mainstream media.
In 2006, Merriam-Webster received a lot of publicity as 'truthiness', a word coined by Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report, topped the list.Read more