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2019 Word of the Year: Unprecedented

'Complicit' was the word of 2017. I predict 'unprecedented' will be the word of 2019.

If you are a consumer of daily news, especially political news, you will have already been hearing the word "unprecedented" being used again and again. Here's the definition of the word, unprecedented: never done or known before. "the government took the unprecedented step of releasing confidential correspondence" synonyms: unparalleled, unequaled, unmatched, unrivaled, without parallel, without equal.

I think as the Special Counsel's investigation moves forward and the results of that investigation are revealed, the word "unprecedented" will be used again and again. 

Currently I've been listening to the Podcast Bagman that covers the Spiro Agnew resignation and what led up to that event and why he resigned. I noted in listening to that series, the word "unprecedented" was used a number of times. Having lived through the age of Agnew's resignation, what I could remember was minimal and I did not have the detail provided in the podcast. Really interesting listening and the similarities to today are significant. 

The current government shutdown is unprecedented as well as its impacts.

Unfortunately, one thing that would end the shutdown immediately would be an "unprecedented" disaster. Say, a humongous earthquake on the West Coast.

Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.
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