Every year the Oxford English Dictionary (among other word sources) announces its official Word of the Year. In the past, the honour has been bestowed upon memorable words such as “vape,” “selfie” and even the “Face with Tears of Joy” emoji: 😂 (Unicode: U+1F602).
So what word did the OED feel dominated conversations and writing this year?
Post-truth is the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2016. Find out more: https://t.co/jxETqZMxsu pic.twitter.com/MVMuMyf83K
— Oxford Dictionaries (@OxfordWords) November 16, 2016
If you, like us, find yourself a bit surprised by this choice, take a look back at news articles referencing Brexit or the American election. Though “post-truth” has been in use for the last decade, it’s seen a significant jump in popularity recently due to political and social events such as these. If you aren’t quite sure how to use it in your writing, the OED defines “post-truth” this way:
Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief:
‘in this era of post-truth politics, it’s easy to cherry-pick data and come to whatever conclusion you desire’
‘some commentators have observed that we are living in a post-truth age’
Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a Writing Wednesday challenge to just ask you to include one new word in your writing. Words that made the shortlist as finalists but ultimately weren’t chosen as the Word of the Year included “adulting,” “woke” and “glass cliff.”
Image Source: Oxford Dictionaries
Which words will you work into your writing in the coming year? Or – are you a linguistic purist and going to avoid them altogether?
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