1: to engage the attention or energies of
2 a : to take up (a place or extent in space) <this chair is occupied> <the fireplace will occupy this corner of the room>
b : to take or fill (an extent in time) <the hobby occupies all of my free time>
3a : to take or hold possession or control of <enemy troops occupied the ridge>
b : to fill or perform the functions of (an office or position)
4: to reside in as an owner or tenant
— oc·cu·pi·er noun
Origin of OCCUPY
Middle English occupien to take possession of, occupy, from Anglo-French occupier, occuper, from Latin occupare, from ob- toward + -cupare (akin to capere to seize) — more at ob-, heave
First Known Use: 14th century
from Merriam-Webster dictionary
This morning I listened to the TED talk : The Birth of a Word. The author, Deb Ray, uses his 18 minute talk to explore the unfolding of his child's first words and then moves on to show the research going on to map words and how they filter down throughout the social environment. As I listened I began to think about the word "occupy" and where the spikes and filtrations of this word were humming and streaming throughout the world. The talk was made in March, 2011, before we, the 99% gave a deeper meaning to Occupy. It would be both fun and significant to map this word as it travels through time.
Clearly, Deb's talk revealed how important it is to choose words carefully and meaningfully. As our new global paradigm unfolds, it seems essential to bring new words forth and to give them meaning through all of our media. What are the words that speak to a better more equitable world? Words like "environment, sustainable, health, peace" are useful words, but they are often co-opted by the media reporting the old news. They are not thoughtful, crafted words to speak a new language at this moment in time.
This is not to infer that we need all newly invented words. "Occupy" comes from the 14th Century! But it is recontextualized and made fresh and tactical. I think it would be interesting to search all media and find words that are emerging, not yet popular, words filled with new meaning and purpose. If we could map these words, we could find ways to spread them and accelerate the development of a new paradigm.
I'd love to hear your words ... words that you are tracking as you work to cause a new paradigm to progress and mature.