Trend Watch


A confrontation with Jeb Bush drove many to their dictionaries ...


Lookups spiked on May 14, 2015, and remained very high for a week.


After a town-hall meeting in Reno, University of Nevada student Ivy Ziedrich approached Jeb Bush and stated, "Your brother created ISIS," to which Mr. Bush responded: "All right. Is that a question?" The student's reply: "You don't need to be pedantic with me, sir," and Mr. Bush said, "Pedantic? Wow."

The exchange sent many people to their dictionaries (including Jon Stewart, on-camera). Pedantic means "being a person who annoys other people by correcting small errors and giving too much attention to minor details," or "narrowly, stodgily, and often ostentatiously learned." It comes from pedant and shares Latin roots with pedagogue ("teacher"), ultimately from the Greek word meaning "slave who escorted children to school."

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