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Public invited to vote for Oxford Word of the Year

Oxford University Press decided to open up the final step of its selection process to 'people around the world.'

For the first time ever, the public will choose the Oxford Word of the Year.

Oxford University Press - which is behind the Oxford English Dictionary - said 2022 has been a year defined by opening back up.

'However, although we have finally been able to physically reunite and come together again, our world somehow feels more divided than ever.'

In recognition of the shift, OUP wanted to open up its Word of the Year selection process to the public, for first time in its history.

The Oxford Word of the Year is a word or expression that has attracted a great deal of interest over the last 12 months.

The 2021 winner was 'Vax'.

It has generated numerous derivatives that we are now seeing in a wide range of informal contexts, from vax sites and vax cards to getting vaxxed and being fully vaxxed,

Climate emergency, toxic and youthquake have also previously won the title.

This year, a team of expert lexicographers have narrowed down a longlist of worthy contestants to a final choice of three words.

The three words are: metaverse, #IStandWith, and goblin mode – each relevant to the year in a different way:

In ‘metaverse’, we see the conceptual future brought into the vernacular in 2022. From hybrid working in VR, to debates over the ethics and feasibility of an entirely online future, usage of this word has quadrupled in October 2022 compared to the same period last year.

‘#IStandWith’ recognizes the activism and division that has characterized this year. From war in Ukraine, to the Depp v. Heard lawsuit, this ‘word’ coined on social media to align your views to a cause or person can often further foster dispute (and sometimes even hate speech) in its polarizing nature.

‘Goblin mode’ is another relatively new concept: the idea of rejecting societal expectations put upon us, in favour of doing whatever one wants to. Early usage dates back to 2009/10, but as we emerged from lockdowns all over the world, the phrase has been coined in rejection of returning ‘back to normal’ after a fake ‘quote’ from Julia Fox brought the term back into the mainstream.

Voting will close at 00:01am on Friday 2nd December.


 

 

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