Saturday, December 17, 2011


Occupy \OK-yuh-pahy\ , verb;
1. To take or fill up space, time, etc.
2. To engage or employ the mind, energy, or attention of
3. To be a resident or tenant of; dwell in;
4. To take possession and control of a place

On the heels of yesterday's humblebrag post, I thought it would be good to talk about the likely winner of this year's "Word of the Year" honors: occupy.
It dates to the mid-14th century as "to take possession of" and "to take up space or time" from Old French occuper, which derives from Latin occupare ("take over, seize, possess, occupy"). The Latin word is a combination of ob + capere ("over" + "to grasp, seize"), the second element can be traced to Proto-Indo-European *kap-, meaning "to grasp."
This year occupy took the spotlight because of the Occupy Wall Street movement. It started small on September 17th in Zuccotti Park in New York City, but by October 9th it had spread to 95 cities in 82 countries and over 600 US communities. As of December 10th there were nearly 3,000 Occupy communities around the world. As a result, the word occupy is everywhere. It's used by people who dislike almost anything (e.g. Occupy Flash), as internet memes, and of course by movements in every city imaginable. The definition of 2011's occupy is flexible, but it is usually some combination of the traditional dictionary definitions, given above.

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