Oxford Reveals Word of the Year

It's "toxic"
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2018 1:10 PM CST
Oxford Reveals Word of the Year
In this Sept. 21, 2018, photo provided by Earthjustice, gray muck floats on top of the Cape Fear River near the LV Sutton Plant near Wilmington, NC, after toxic materials potentially spilled into the river.   (Peter Harrison/Earthjustice via AP)

Oxford Dictionaries has revealed 2018's Word of the Year, and it's not an uplifting one: "toxic." Oxford says it found a 45% increase in searches for that word on oxforddictionaries.com, and also explained that the word is increasingly being used both literally and figuratively. NPR expands on that, noting that it has covered (literally) toxic chemicals this year as well as (figuratively) toxic internet content. The top 10 words used alongside "toxic" this year, Oxford says, were chemical, masculinity, substance, gas, environment, relationship, culture, waste, algae, and air.

The other eight words that made the Word of the Year shortlist: gaslighting, incel, techlash, gammon, big dick energy, cakeism, overtourism, orbiting. More on those here. Collins Dictionary chose its word of the year last week: "single-use." It noted a four-fold increase in the use of the term since 2013, and notes that it "encompasses a global movement to kick our addiction to disposable products. From plastic bags, bottles and straws to washable nappies, we have become more conscious of how our habits and behaviours can impact the environment." (Last year, Collins chose President Trump's favorite phrase as its word of the year.)

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