Collins English Dictionary have just published their word of 2017 along with their top 10 shortlist.
“Fake news” has topped the list after a 365% rise in use since 2016. It’s already a bit of a cliché, in my opinion, but still topical as Donald Trump continues to make it his main communications strategy.
Unsurprisingly in a year dominated by politics from the US and closer to home, many of the “words of the year” are politically influenced. (Of course, fake news is two words, as are many others on the list … just saying.)
Here’s a quick run-down of what’s supposedly been on our lips this year.
- Fake news – Donald Trump did not invent this phrase, but he certainly used it to his advantage. (Here are my top tips for spotting fake news).
- Antifa – an abbreviation of “anti-fascist”.
- Corbynmania – no need to explain!
- Cuffing season – the habit of single people looking for a partner for the winter months but not necessarily for a longer period.
- Echo chamber – those who share their opinions in environments, especially social media, where the only people who hear or read their views will be of a similar disposition.
- Fidget spinner – a craze that’s long since burnt out.
- Gender-fluid – identifying both as male and female.
- Gig economy – an economy built around temporary or freelance workers.
- Insta – things relating to the photo-sharing app Instagram.
- Unicorn – Adorning plenty of clothes and accessories this year. No idea why.
I can’t say I’ve written about all these “hot” topics. The trouble with any top list is that it’s usually out of vogue by the time it gets published!
My 2017 “hot” topics have ranged from eco fish farming in Mexico to archaeology in Wessex, from quality control in California to creative industries in London, and from hostage negotiation in the Yemen to cancer research in Oxford. I’ve learned a huge amount, which is the joy of my job.
What about you – what’s been your favourite word or topic this year?