Word of the Day : January 4, 2011


noun NET-roots


: the grassroots political activists who communicate via the Internet especially by blogs

Did You Know?

In July of 1912 McClure's Magazine reported, "From the Roosevelt standpoint, especially, it was a campaign from the 'grass roots up'. The voter was the thing." A little more than 90 years later, the Internet was the thing and the grassroots voters had gone virtual: "June 23rd is going to be the official launch of Gov. Dean's campaign for President -- we want to use this day as a demonstration of the netroots and grassroots across the nation" (The Hotline, June 2003). It was Howard Dean's campaign that tapped into the wellspring of person-to-person electronic communication and brought us "netroots," a word that joins the "net" of "Internet" with the "roots" of "grassroots."


Inarguably, it was the campaigning by the netroots that helped the senator get elected.

"The netroots has developed a message and approach to politics that doesn't get heard in the world of broadcast TV, where the same pundit retreads dominate." -- Markos Moulitsas, quoted in an article by Tim Fernholz in The American Prospect, April 2010

Test Your Vocabulary

What word refers to the business of using the Internet to sell products directly to customers? (Hint: it was formed as a blend of "e-" and another word.) The answer is ...


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