Geoff Nunberg says the magic of metonymy helped propel the word "occupy" into the global consciousness. Douglas Araujo de Moura /Occuprint hide caption

itoggle caption Douglas Araujo de Moura /Occuprint

A message honoring Steve Jobs is scrawled on a blacked-out window at an Apple store in Seattle.

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In the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx (above) and Friedrich Engels used the German word Klassenkampfen, which translates as "class struggles." Their critics rendered it as "class warfare."

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If It Ain't Broke ... The word "broke" comes from an old use of the word break, meaning "impoverished," says linguist Geoff Nunberg. "It suggests an abiding association between destitution and destruction." iStockphoto.com hide caption

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The Year Of No: Geoff Nunberg declares "no" to be the 2010 word of the year. (In case you're curious, NPR wrote 1,640 articles featuring the word "no" in the past year.) Stephanie d'Otreppe/NPR hide caption

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English novelist Jane Austen is known for her polished prose, but her handwritten manuscripts reveal some telling grammatical errors. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Recently, people have invoked sensitivities to oppose the building of an Islamic center near ground zero (above) and to urge Glenn Beck to move his rally at the Lincoln Memorial — which took place on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Seth Wenig/AP Photo hide caption

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Geoff Nunberg says that pop singers such as The Beatles and Elvis Costello may have visited wordplay from time to time -- but country music lives there. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Sarah Palin's use of the nonword "refudiate" set off a storm of mockery -- and support -- among partisans. Rich Pedroncelli/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Rich Pedroncelli/AP