What exactly is Oxfords word of the year all about?
Word of the year is an innovative concept to add one word per year to the Oxford English Dictionary. This word must be the most used, most popular word that year, plus this word needs to sum-up the entire vibe of the year if possible. It usually has its own unique meaning too.
By far 2020 has been a roller coaster year. With all the whirlwind of events right from the Australian bushfire up-to current American election this year has truly been a ride. Here is an insight on the word of the year 2020 discussion.
Since past many years Oxford has been selecting the word of the year with great ease, but 2020 has put all the expert lexicographers into a dilemma. 2020 saw rapid and unexpected changes in the English language, new words were constantly added to the English vocabulary this year. The OED says, “It quickly became apparent that 2020 is not a year that could neatly be accommodated in one single word of the year”.
If we take a closer look at this year since the beginning, the Australian bushfire shook the entire world destroying the precious flora and fauna of the continent in January. Rising the word ‘bushfire’ in public eye. With a seemingly eventless February, March brought with it the wave of COVID-19 whose backlashes are still being faced by the world thanks to China, and will probably last in the early months of 2021. Causing stressful situations mainly in Europe, America and Asia. This pandemic highlighted words such as ‘lockdown’, ‘social-distancing’ and ‘work-from-home’. The use of these words in day-to-day conversation, increased as rapidly as the sales of disinfectants and masks worldwide. These words may sum up a major aspect of the year but there certainly are some more events that took place this year.
The phrase ‘Black lives matter’ came to limelight when Geroge Floyd was shot in the States. Starting a global movement to support the people of colour all around the world.
The recent election in the US was conducted via mails, where voters had to mail their vote. Bringing the word ‘Mail-in’ to the forefront. The astonishing results shook the world once again where the superpower gained a new president Joe Biden and their first ever lady vice-president, a women of colour, Kamala Harris.
This is truly a year to go down in history and as quoted by the report, this year could be easily declared as “The Unprecedented Year”. Now at the threshold of December, the peak winter season and Christmas around the corner. Let’s see which word bags the title of the word of the year 2020.
Let us know your thoughts on this topic, we are eager to know what you want the word of this unexpected and diverse year to be. Don’t forget to like share and comment.