Here’s what people Googled this year as they tried to make sense of 2020
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Google released its annual "Year in Search" list on Dec. 9. The list acts as a sort of chronicle of the decades worth of newsworthy things that took place during this one weird year.
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1. “Wear a mask.” — Dr. Anthony Fauci, CNN interview, May 21.
A plea from Dr. Anthony Fauci for people to “wear a mask” to slow the spread of the coronavirus tops a Yale Law School librarian’s list of the most notable quotes of 2020.
The list assembled by Fred Shapiro, an associate director at the library, is an annual update to “The Yale Book of Quotations,” which was first published in 2006. Shapiro said he picks quotes that are not necessarily admirable or eloquent, but rather because they are famous or particularly revealing of the spirit of the times.
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2. “I can’t breathe.” — George Floyd, plea to police officer, Minneapolis, May 25.
Tyshawn, 9, left, and his brother Tyler, 11, right, of Baltimore, hold signs saying "Black Lives Matter" and "I Can't Breathe" as they sit on a concrete barrier near a police line as demonstrators protest along a section of 16th Street that has been renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza, Wednesday, June 24, 2020, in Washington. George Floyd's plea of "I can't breathe," to the officer kneeling on his neck, holds the number two position on the Yale Law School librarian's list of the most notable quotes of 2020.
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File
3. "One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear,” President Donald Trump, referring to the coronavirus in remarks at an African American History Month reception at the White House, Feb. 27.
In this Feb. 28, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in North Charleston, S.C. Trump's Feb. 27, 2020 comment, "One day, it's like a miracle, it will disappear," made while referring to the Coronavirus, holds the number three spot on the Yale Law School librarian's list of the most notable quotes of 2020.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon File
4. “I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning?" — Trump, in remarks at a White House Coronavirus Task Force news briefing, April 23.
In this April 24, 2020 fie photo, President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. Trump's statement; "I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning?" made during an April 23, 2020 White House Coronavirus Task Force news briefing, holds the number four position on the Yale Law School librarian's list of the most notable quotes of 2020.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File
5. “I will never lie to you. You have my word on that.” — White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, at her first press briefing, May 1.
In this May 1, 2020 file photo, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during her first press briefing at the White House in Washington. McEnany' statement made during the briefing, "I will never lie to you. You have my word on that," holds the number five spot on the Yale Law School librarian's list of the most notable quotes of 2020.
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File
6. “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, statement dictated to granddaughter Clara Spera, September.
In this Feb. 6, 2017 file photo, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif. "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed." The quote from Ginsburg's statement dictated to granddaughter in September 2020, holds the number six spot on the Yale Law School librarian's list of the most notable quotes of 2020.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File
7. “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black.” — Joe Biden, in an interview with “The Breakfast Club” radio program, May 22.
In this June 2, 2020 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden addresses the media in Philadelphia. Biden's comment, "If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black." made during a May 22, 2020 interview at "The Breakfast Club" holds the number seven spot on the Yale Law School librarian's list of the most notable quotes of 2020.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File
8. “The science should not stand in the way of this.” — McEnany, referring to school reopenings in a news briefing, July 16.
In this July 16, 2020 file photo, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington. McEnany's statement, "The science should not stand in the way of this," made while referring to school openings during the press briefing, holds the number eight position on the Yale Law School librarian's list of the most notable quotes of 2020.
AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File
9. “You're a lying dog-faced pony soldier.” — Biden, in a remark to student at campaign event, Hampton, N.H., Feb. 9.
In this Feb. 9, 2020 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden listens to a question from Madison Moore, at right with microphone, at a campaign event in Hampton, N.H. Moore asked Biden to explain his underperformance in Iowa. After asking Moore if she'd ever been to a caucus, Biden called her "a lying, dog-faced pony soldier." Biden's comment holds the number nine position on the Yale Law School librarian's list of the most notable quotes of 2020.
AP Photo/Reinhold Matay, File
10. “We are all Lakers today.” — Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers, in a remark to reporters after the death of Kobe Bryant, Orlando, Fla., Jan. 26.
In this Jan. 26, 2020 file photo, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers talks with the media after an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic in Orlando, Fla. Rivers informed the media that there will be no interviews in the locker room that night as his players dealt with the loss of Kobe Bryant. River's remark to reporters, "We are all Lakers today," holds the number 10 position on the Yale Law School librarian's list of the most notable quotes of 2020.
What do Animal Crossing, “WAP,” sourdough bread, Timothée Chalamet and “social distancing date ideas” all have in common?
They were all popular Google searches in 2020.
Google released its annual “Year in Search” list Wednesday. The list acts as a sort of chronicle of the decades worth of newsworthy things that took place during this one weird year. The list features the year’s top trending searches, which had a high spike in traffic over a sustained period in 2020 compared to 2019.
As people tried to make sense of the overwhelming barrage of news in 2020, global queries including the word “why” — such as “why is the NBA postponed?” and “why is toilet paper sold out?” — were searched more often than in any year before, Google said in a video released along with the list Wednesday.
Unsurprisingly, “election results” and “coronavirus” topped the U.S. trending searches list, as people sought answers about the deadly pandemic and a crucial election that took longer than usual to play out because of the pandemic. Also among the top 10 on the list: Zoom, Naya Rivera, Chadwick Boseman and PlayStation 5.
Google also broke out top U.S. trending searches in a number of categories.
The “news” category includes queries about stimulus checks, the payments given to millions of Americans as part of the $2.2 trillion congressional coronavirus relief package passed in March; Iran, whose general Qasem Soleimani was killed in a U.S. airstrike in early January, setting off a period of tension between the two countries; and murder hornets, the giant invasive bugs spotted in Washington state earlier this year.
The news category also includes two of the year’s major natural disasters: Hurricane Laura, a Category 4 storm that caused death and destruction in Louisiana and Texas, and the Australia fires, which devastated large swaths of the country and killed an estimated 3 billion animals.
Elsewhere, the list highlights some of this year’s prominent losses: basketball star Kobe Bryant, trailblazing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and renowned guitarist Eddie Van Halen, as well as George Floyd, whose death sparked a nationwide reckoning and movement for racial justice.
Despite all of the hardships of 2020, people stepped up to help one another in some extraordinary ways. The “how to help” section of the list shows people searched for ways to help the Black Lives Matter movement, Yemen, Beirut and someone having a panic attack. People also looked into how to donate blood, plasma and N95 masks, among other things, during the health crisis.
And, of course, the top trending searches list also features some of the ways we coped and kept ourselves entertained this year. Popular searches included “drive in movie theater near me,” “virtual EDC rave,” “how to cut men’s hair at home”, and “how to make hand sanitizer.”
And lest we leave out any of the other events that contributed to 2020’s chaos, here are a few other things not yet mentioned that also appeared on the list: the U.S. crackdown on TikTok, Elon Musk’s baby, stock market madness, a boom in popularity of whipped coffee, online school, a number of companies making Juneteenth a corporate holiday, “The Last Dance” documentary series chronicling Michael Jordan’s career, “Parasite” making history as the first non-English language film to win the Oscar for best picture, and the list goes on.
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