Meanwhile, many Americans continue to face change in their homes, bank accounts and jobs. The national debate can arguably be summarized by the question: Our Word of the Year was exposure , which highlighted the year's Ebola virus outbreak, shocking acts of violence both abroad and in the US, and widespread theft of personal information. From the pervading sense of vulnerability surrounding Ebola to the visibility into acts of crime or misconduct that ignited critical conversations about race, gender, and violence, various senses of exposure were out in the open this year. Xenophobia In , we selected xenophobia as our Word of the Year. Here's an excerpt from our release that year that gives a pretty good explanation for our choice: Bluster In a year known for the Occupy movement and what became known as the Arab Spring, our lexicographers chose bluster as their Word of the Year for Tergiversate means "to change repeatedly one's attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc. Racial identity also held a lot of debate in , after Rachel Dolezal, a white woman presenting herself as a black woman, said she identified as biracial or transracial. From our Word of the Year announcement: Our choice for Word of the Year is as much about what is visible as it is about what is not. Here's what we had to say about exposure in It was a year of real awakening to complicity in various sectors of society, from politics to pop culture. Things don't get less serious in We must not let this continue to be the norm.