The Merriam-Webster Dictionary's powers-that-be say that “science” is the word of the year 2013. In disagreement with Oxford Dictionaries who claimed “selfie” was the word of the year 2013 just two weeks ago, Merriam-Webster asserts that the number of look-ups on its website for the word “science" increased an incredible 176 percent in 2013 as compared to 2012, according to a New York Post report on Wednesday.
According to John Morse - the president and publisher of Merriam-Webster Incorporated – the more the authorities at Merriam-Webster’s firm thought about it, the righter it seemed in that the word “science” does lurk behind a lot of big stories that we as a society are grappling with – whether it is climate change or environmental regulation or what is in our textbooks.
He also said that science is connected to broad cultural oppositions – such as science versus faith, for instance – along with such powers as observation and intuition, reason and ideology, evidence, and tradition.
There are a host of reasons given for people increasingly interested in the word – but for now, data simply asserts that “science” is a word that strikes curiosity among us.
So, what is "science" as defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary? It's "the state of known: knowledge as distringuished from ignorance or misunderstanding." It is also "a deparment of systematized knowledge as an object of study - as in the science of theology." It is "something (as a sport or technique) that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledge - as to have it down to a science." It is "knowldege or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method." It is "such knowedge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena - as in natural science." And, it is "a system or method reconciling practical ends with scientific laws - such as cooking is both a science and an art." Finally, when capitalized, it is Christian Science.
Unlike Oxford Dictionaries, Merriam-Webster makes its decision based on look-up data it has available to its researchers each year. Oxford Dictionaries appears to go with the flow of its contemporary cultural perceptions.