One of the really great things about living in the early 21st century is the amount of information right at your fingers - no matter where you are!  Using our phones, laptops, and tablets we can easily look up TV series about vampires that were on FOX TV or where Patrick Dempsey went to school.

Of course, using this technology, we can also look up things that may be slightly more important at the moment.  Like a synonym (word with a similar meaning) for SCARY or the definition of a word.

But, have you ever stopped to think about what words other people are looking up?

Not shockingly, Google has all of that information stored in its massive database.  In fact, Freelance Writing Jobs recent published a breakdown of the words that confuse each state the most.  In other words, the definitions that each state are searching for the most.

Ospan Ali / Unsplash
Ospan Ali / Unsplash

Not surprisingly, many of these words have to do with societal changes that have occured in the last decade-ish.  Nope, no one was searching for what a "telephone" was or the meaning of the word "flippantly".

So, what was it for Maine?  The most searched definition for people in the Pine Tree State was "Gaslighting".  The modern term, that is.  We're not talking about how your great great great grandfather lit his house.  This version of "gaslighting" refers to the psychological manipulation of someone.

According to Merriam-Webster, gaslighting is defined as:

psychological manipulation of a person usually over an extended period of time that causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories and typically leads to confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, uncertainty of one's emotional or mental stability, and a dependency on the perpetrator

In the State of New Hampshire, the most commonly searched word was "Woke".

Merriam-Webster has several different definitions for this form of "woke".  These include:

aware of and actively attentive to important societal facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice)


politically liberal (as in matters of racial and social justice) especially in a way that is considered unreasonable or extreme

What about Massachusetts? Just like Maine, the most researched word was "gaslighting".  The same was true for Vermont and New York.

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