Word Watch: Occupy

Friday, October 21, 2011


As the Occupy Wall Street protests spread around the world, they have changed the meaning and usage of the word "Occupy." Ben Zimmer, executive producer of the Visual Thesaurus and former "On Language" columnist for the New York Times, tracks how the word's meaning has shifted over just the last month.

Nicolas Jaar – "Problems with the Sun"

Comments [2]

Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

As a veteran occupier, though not in this case but for 3 days on New Haven Green for both the 40th & 45th anniversaries of our bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki and for a months-long occupation on Yale's Beinecke Plaza for divestment during South Africa's Apartheid Regime, I have been urging Occupiers to occupy themselves.

There are many hours to a day and no one does this alone. While contributing much time at the encampments, I earned a living at a senior citizen newspaper, volunteered making public access t.v. for the paper & of city government meetings and to satisfy my own funny bone and also helped organize the early Greens here. Occasionally, I even slept at home.

Sure, I had to rub shoulders with ruder people than me but at least I knew that I was working to empower us all.

I notice that New Haven Occupiers were given a building within which to build a business and to those who scream "Capitalism!", I say, "Yes, to meet human needs not corporate greed. There's differences!"

Oct. 26 2011 09:01 PM

Considering the reported bathroom habits of some of the protesters, doesn't the word "occupied" appear when a toilet stall is in use.....along with the word "vacant" which may also be descriptive of the protests?

Oct. 22 2011 02:02 PM

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