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The Suffix 'Ism' Is Merriam-Webster's 2015 Word Of The Year

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Earlier this year, Oxford Dictionary announced that its word of 2015 isn't a word at all. Rather, it is the emoji titled, "Face With Tears Of Joy."

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster has come out with their word of the year for 2015, and it's really just part of a word. It's -ism, as in socialism, communism, feminism.

MONTAGNE: But this is not exactly a new word, or suffix, as fans of the movie "Miracle On 34th Street" know.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET")

ALVIN GREENMAN: (As Alfred) Yeah, there's a lot of bad -isms floating around this world, but one of the worst is commercialism. Make a buck. Make a buck. Even in Brooklyn, it's the same. Don't care what Christmas stands for. Just make a buck. Make a buck.

GREENE: OK, commercialism. There also, of course, is the word terrorism, which could sadly explain things.

MONTAGNE: Merriam-Webster chooses its word of the year based on what people have looked up the most in 2015.

GREENE: Now, one of the runners-up in 2015 was the word Minion because of, well, you know.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As Minions, singing, unintelligible). Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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