In case you haven’t noticed, 2016 has been absolutely insane. Not only did we lose Prince, David Bowie and Muhammed Ali, but we also watched Europe deal with Brexit and American citizens barely make it through the presidential election. The world is a-changin’, and the media has a lot to do with it, which is why 2016’s Word of the Year is all too fitting.
According to Oxford Dictionaries, this year’s Word of the Year is “post-truth,” which means “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”
Let’s just say what this pick really means:
“The concept of post-truth has been in existence for the past decade,” the president of Oxford Dictionaries Casper Grathwohl said in a statement. “But Oxford Dictionaries has seen a spike in frequency this year in the context of the EU referendum in the United Kingdom and the presidential election in the United States. It has also become associated with a particuar noun, in the phrase post-truth politics.”
He continued, “It’s not surprising that our choice reflects a year dominated by highly-charged political and social discourse. Fueled by the rise of social media as a news source and a growing distrust of facts offered by the establishment, post-truth as a concept has been finding its linguistic footing for some time.”
Overall usage of the word spiked 2,000% in 2016 and shows no signs of slowing down, according to Grathwohl, who also stated that he would be surprised if “post-truth becomes of the the defining words of our time.”
Luckily, there’s still time to change that sentiment. Stay woke.