“Post-truth” has been named International Word of The Year – in the wake of Brexit and the US presidential election.
Announced by Oxford Dictionaries, the publisher says it reflects a year defined by “highly-charged political and social discourse.”
What does ‘post-truth’ mean?
- It is a compound adjective
- It’s defined as “relating to or donating circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”
- The concept of post-truth has been in existence for the past decade
Why has ‘post-truth’ been chosen?
- The word of the year process aims to select a word that “captures the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year”
- Use of ‘post-truth’ increased by around 2,000 percent in 2016, compared to the previous year, according to Oxford Dictionaries
- The publisher links the hike to Britain’s referendum on EU membership and the US presidential election
“It’s not surprising that our choice reflects a year dominated by highly-charged political and social discourse,” said Casper Grathwohl, President of Oxford Dictionaries, which publishes the Oxford English Dictionary and other works.
“Fuelled by the rise of social media as a news source and a growing distrust of facts offered up by the establishment, post-truth as a concept has been finding its linguistic footing for some time.”
OxfordWords</a> has named "post-truth" as its <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WordOfTheYear?src=hash">#WordOfTheYear</a>. Read our briefing on the post-truth world <a href="https://t.co/U2Igz133m3">https://t.co/U2Igz133m3</a></p>— The Economist (TheEconomist) November 16, 2016
‘Post-truth’ named Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year in wake of Donald Trump and Brexit https://t.co/D9ssPQ3JE5— The Independent (@Independent) November 16, 2016
What else was in the running?
- ‘Alt-right’ was also up for the international word of the year title. It is defined as “an ideological grouping associated with extreme conservative or reactionary viewpoints, characterised by a rejection of mainstream politics and by the use of online media to disseminate deliberately controversial content”
- ‘Brexiteer’ was also shortlisted – defined as a person in favour of Britain pulling out of the EU
'Post truth' Oxford dictionary's word of the year- 'alt-right' & 'Brexiteer' were contenders – defining words of our times – feels so bad.— Dame Joan Ruddock (@joan_dame) November 16, 2016
- “Woke” was another contender, defined as “alert to injustice in society, especially racism”
- “Woke” has been in use by African-American communities for decades. But, according to Oxford Dictionaries, has recently gained a broader audience through the use of the phrase “stay awoke” by supporters of the US Black Lives Matter movement
What about previous years?
- In 2015, the word of the year was a pictograph for the first time – the “Face With Tears of Joy” emoji
😂😂😂 Do emojis speak louder than words? “Face with Tears of Joy” crowned Oxford Dictionary's word of the year. https://t.co/aFtuxxZ7Tz— NEW INC (@NEWINC) December 4, 2015
- In 2014, the title went to “vape,” the act of inhaling and exhaling the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette