The lookup logs from April 2003 read like a keyword list from a Tom Clancy novel: “regime”, “coalition”, “brigade”, “fatwa”, “semper fi”, “vanguard” and “propaganda” overwhelmed more mundane lookups like “affect” and “effect”. It was shock and awe, cinematic: things were happening so fast we could barely keep up. As the war progressed, “insurgent” shot to the top of the lookup list, then “collateral damage”.

There was one startling, enduring lookup that no one could have predicted: “democracy”. Democracy was in the top 20 lookups every year that coalition forces were in Iraq, and small wonder: were we not, after all, toppling a dictatorship and “bringing democracy to Iraq”?

— Kory Stamper in WMDs, RGPs, DHS: How the Iraq War Transformed the English Language

 My girl crush on Kory Stamper continues.