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Opening Arguments

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Speaking of words, I heard Charly Butcher on WOWO this morning on the way to work, expressing mild amusement that, with all that's happened in the last 10 years (terror attack on the twin towers, two wars, health care and global warming debates, first African-American president, etc.), this should end up being the "word of the decade":

'Google' has been named Word of the Decade by the American Dialect Society, an association that charts the use of English in North America.

The use of the word 'Google' as a verb, meaning to search the internet, was voted the most important word of the Noughties by the Society's members, beating other tech terms such as 'blog', 'text' and 'Wi-Fi'.

I think it's a good choice, though. However earth-shattering some of the highlights of the decade may seem, they were just events that will be added to the flow of history, stories about people doing things with and to each other. Google changed the way we live. I remember when I first started in the news business, doing research for an editorial meant plowing through books, and major research meant numerous trips to the library. Google has replaced all that with a few mouse clicks, and made it possible for every lazy writer in the world to at least sound knowledgeable.

Jeff Bezos said something interesting in an interview I saw recently: It's important to remember that we co-evolve with our tools. We change our tools, then our tools change us, then the process repeats.