The English word of the year is...
It's looking like it will be nice in the morning, but we may see some rain this evening and tomorrow, so keep an umbrella handy. Temperatures will continue to remain unseasonably high through the weekend-it may even get up to 21C tomorrow-but things will cool down from Tuesday, with the high on Wednesday to be around 13C.
A year after it picked an emoji as its Word of the Year for 2015, Oxford Dictionaries on Wednesday said 2016 was best characterized by post-truth.
The dictionary publisher defined post-truth as "relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief."
It's essentially a refinement of truthiness, Stephen Colbert's 2005 coinage, which was the American Dialect Society's Word of the Year 11 years ago: "the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true."
Oxford Dictionaries said it recorded a spike in the use of post-truth this year "in the context of the EU referendum in the United Kingdom and the presidential election in the United States."
The selection is a sharp departure from the usually lighthearted picks the publisher has made in the past. Just last year, it selected the emoji representing "crying with laughter"; in 2014, it was vape. Previous selections include GIF, refudiate and unfriend.
"It's not surprising that our choice reflects a year dominated by highly charged political and social discourse," Casper Grathwohl, Oxford Dictionaries' president, said in an essay on the company's website, which cited "the rise of social media as a news source and a growing distrust of facts offered up by those in power."
The publisher said in a video explaining its selection that post-truth will likely have a long shelf life, because it describes "a general characteristic of our age."
Post-truth was chosen over nine other finalists (definitions by Oxford Dictionaries):
- adulting, n. [mass noun] informal: the practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks.
- alt-right, n. (U.S.): an ideological grouping associated with extreme conservative or reactionary viewpoints, characterized by a rejection of mainstream politics and by the use of online media to disseminate deliberately controversial content.
- Brexiteer, n. (British) informal: a person who is in favor of the United Kingdom withdrawing from the European Union.
- chatbot, n.: a computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the Internet.
- coulrophobia, n. [mass noun] rare: extreme or irrational fear of clowns.
- glass cliff, n.: used with reference to a situation in which a woman or member of a minority group ascends to a leadership position in challenging circumstances where the risk of failure is high.
- hygge, n. [mass noun]: a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).
- Latinx, n. (plural Latinxs or same) and adj.: a person of Latin American origin or descent (used as a gender-neutral or non-binary alternative to Latino or Latina); relating to people of Latin American origin or descent (used as a gender-neutral or non-binary alternative to Latino or Latina).
- woke, adj. (woker, wokest) (U.S.) informal: alert to injustice in society, especially racism.
Have a great day!