The word of the year is…
- Posted by: oupseminars
- Category: Blog
The 2015 Word of the Year for the first time ever was a pictograph, the ‘face with tears of joy’ emoji. After the controversies and criticisms of 2015’s choice Oxford Dictionaries returned to a more conventional term.
Following the political repercussions across Britain and the United States, the 2016 Word of the Year was post-truth – an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’.
According to Oxford Dictionaries, the word post-truth saw a spike in usage last year owing to the EU Referendum in Britain and the US Presidential Election whereby the truth and factual information has become a “worthless currency”.
You may also be surprised to know that the term post-truth has actually been around for over 20 years, unlike previous winners which have generally been newly created words; vape, selfie. In 2016, politics dominated the shortlist of words with contenders such as Brexiteer and alt-right. You can see the full list of contenders and why post-truth was chosen on the Oxford Dictionaries website.
In the classroom you could get students to research the different terms and show examples of them in use. If you don’t already do so, you could create a “Word of the Week” for your students so that each week you introduce a new word or phrase. Likewise you could discuss other words that could have won or that may be contenders next year!