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Title: Web of Language Word of the Year: marriage
Submitter: Dennis Baron
Description: The Web of Language Word of the Year for 2013 is marriage. It’s a word that was redefined this year not by dictionaries, but by an even higher authority, the United States Supreme Court.

Marriage was a highly-visible and controversial term for much of 2013, with the defenders of marriage arguing either against same-sex marriage, or—and they are defenders of marriage, too—in favor of marriage equality. The Court came down, five to four, on the side of marriage equality, rewriting the definition of marriage in federal law. In addition to ratifying same-sex marriage in states where it is legal, the federal redefinition of marriage impacted a broad range of areas from estate planning, Social Security, and the IRS, to parent-teacher conferences, hospital visits, and basic human dignity. Despite the dramatic impact of this redefinition on thousands of federal statutes and regulations, as well as on everyday life, marriage had a lot of competition for the top WOTY slot. . . .

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Dennis Baron
Date Posted: 12-Jan-2014
Linguistic Field(s): Lexicography
Language Specialty: English
LL Issue: 25.184
Posted: 12-Jan-2014

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