A list of every Word of the Year selection released by Dictionary. Word of the Year was chosen in 2010. Everything After Z by Mlm forums chat rooms. Our Word of the Year choice serves as a symbol of each year’s most meaningful events and lookup trends.
It is an opportunity for us to reflect on the language and ideas that represented each year. So, take a stroll down memory lane to remember all of our past Word of the Year selections. But, the term still held a lot of weight. The national debate can arguably be summarized by the question: In the past two years, has there been enough change? Has there been too much?
Meanwhile, many Americans continue to face change in their homes, bank accounts and jobs. Only time will tell if the latest wave of change Americans voted for in the midterm elections will result in a negative or positive outcome. This rare word was chosen to represent 2011 because it described so much of the world around us. 2011 Word of the Year. Word of the Year for 2012. 2012 saw the most expensive political campaigns and some of the most extreme weather events in human history, from floods in Australia to cyclones in China to Hurricane Sandy and many others.
We got serious in 2013. Edward Snowden’s reveal of Project PRISM to the arrival of Google Glass. Spoiler alert: Things don’t get less serious in 2014. Ebola virus outbreak, shocking acts of violence both abroad and in the US, and widespread theft of personal information. From the pervading sense of vulnerability surrounding Ebola to the visibility into acts of crime or misconduct that ignited critical conversations about race, gender, and violence, various senses of exposure were out in the open this year. Racial identity also held a lot of debate in 2015, after Rachel Dolezal, a white woman presenting herself as a black woman, said she identified as biracial or transracial.
Fear of the “other” was a huge theme in 2016, from Brexit to President Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric. Despite being chosen as the 2016 Word of the Year, xenophobia is not to be celebrated. Rather it’s a word to reflect upon deeply in light of the events of the recent past. 2017 about those who spoke out against powerful figures and institutions and about those who stayed silent. It was a year of real awakening to complicity in various sectors of society, from politics to pop culture.
Our choice for Word of the Year is as much about what is visible as it is about what is not. It’s a word that reminds us that even inaction is a type of action. The silent acceptance of wrongdoing is how we’ve gotten to this point. We must not let this continue to be the norm. If we do, then we are all complicit. What The Nog: What’s Eggnog?
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