Oxford University Press is letting the public help decide on the Oxford Word of the Year for 2022.
Oxford’s lexicographers are giving the public 3 candidates, defined at https://global.oup.com/news-items/homepage/vote?cc=gb&WT.ac=vote:
- metaverse n. A (hypothetical) virtual reality environment in which users interact with one another’s avatars and their surroundings in an immersive way, sometimes posited as a potential extension of or replacement for the internet, World Wide Web, social media, etc.
- #IStandWith Used on social media to express solidarity with a specified cause, group, person, etc.
- Goblin Mode n. slang. A type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations; frequently in in goblin mode’ or ‘go goblin mode’.
[I presume the last few words should read: frequently in ‘in goblin mode or go goblin mode.]
Voting will close on 2 December 2022 and OUP plans to announce the winner on 5 December. You can vote at https://languages.oup.com/word-of-the-year/2022
OUP comments on the words
Strangely, that voting page doesn’t reproduce the definitions given above, though it comments as follows:
- In ‘metaverse’, we see the conceptual future brought into the vernacular in 2022. From hybrid working in VR, to debates over the ethics and feasibility of an entirely online future, usage of this word has quadrupled in October 2022 compared to the same period last year.
- ‘#IStandWith’ recognizes the activism and division that has characterized this year. From war in Ukraine, to the Depp v. Heard lawsuit, this ‘word’ coined on social media to align your views to a cause or person can often further foster dispute (and sometimes even hate speech) in its polarizing nature.
- ‘Goblin mode’ is another relatively new concept: the idea of rejecting societal expectations put upon us, in favour of doing whatever one wants to. Early usage dates back to 2009/10, but as we emerged from lockdowns all over the world, the phrase has been coined in rejection of returning ‘back to normal’ after a fake ‘quote’ from Julia Fox brought the term back into the mainstream.
Other words of 2022 and before
To see the Collins Word of 2022, other 2022 words highlighted by Collins, and Oxford and Collins Words for recent years, please see https://languagemiscellany.com/2022/11/collins-words-of-2022