Monday, Nov. 03, 2008


If "change" was the great word of hope in 2008, "bailout" was the word that symbolized the year's crushing uncertainty. The investor class looked to Washington's bailout of troubled American companies as a way of righting a listing ship, one that was leaking 401(k) earnings into the abyss. But many working Americans on "Main Street" — which might be called another buzzword of 2008, along with "credit crunch" — saw the big bank bailout as a gift to the very financial executives who had screwed up the system. Later, the bailout package was renamed the "rescue" package, and Congress passed it.

TIME parses the top buzzwords of 2008: