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Oxford Dictionaries' Word of the Year 2016: "Post-truth"

Oxford Dictionaries have designated their Word of the Year for 2016. While I'm not all that familiar with the term itself, I well understand the concept behind it. The word is "post-truth."

Defined by the dictionary as an adjective “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”, editors said that use of the term “post-truth” had increased by around 2,000% in 2016 compared to last year. The spike in usage, it said, is “in the context of the EU referendum in the United Kingdom and the presidential election in the United States”.

Oxford Dictionaries’s word of the year is intended to “reflect the passing year in language”, with post-truth following the controversial choice last year of the “face with tears of joy” emoji. The publisher’s US and UK dictionary teams sometimes plump for different choices – in 2009 the UK went for “simples” and the US for “unfriend”; in 2006 the UK went for “bovvered” and the US for “carbon-neutral” – but this year teams on both sides of the Atlantic chose the same word.

Winning the Word of the Year means "post-truth" goes into Oxford's online dictionaries, and if it stays in use for a few years, may be included in the official print dictionaries. Read more about "post-truth" and the other contenders for the title at the Guardian. -via Boing Boing

(Image credit: Flickr user Dan)

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