"Post-truth" the Word of the Year? At least we're politically engaged for once
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Yes, I know – you already want me to shut up. The last thing you want to read is yet another article related to ‘Brexit and Trump’, the political catastrophes of 2016; a year that so many would like to write off as a political nightmare. Every time you see that image of Trump and Farage with their matching maniacal grins, you die a little more inside. Like me, I’m sure you’re getting pretty fed up of talking about it with friends, colleagues, taxi drivers, and everyone in between. All you want to do is lay low and spend a little time enjoying life in your bubble of ignorant bliss, and forget the fact that you have lost all faith in humanity. The last thing you want, then, is yet another news item that sparks off a whole new barrage of Brump* material in the media. But guess what? There’s another one (sorry.) The good old Oxford English Dictionary has only gone and decided to bestow its Word of the Year award upon the term ‘post-truth; relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.’ According to the editors, this term has been in existence since 1992, but has seen a 2000% increase in usage this year. Hmm, I wonder why… Of course, the selection of this word is annoyingly appropriate after a year filled with such controversial political events. And though my first reaction was to meet this news item with exasperation – ‘Fantastic, just what we need! Another reason for people to write articles about the political mess we made this year!’ – this soon gave way to another emotion; misery. It really does seem depressing to compare 2016’s Word of the Year with previous winners, such as ‘chav’, ‘bovvered’, and ‘GIF’. It appears that in other years our lives have been a lot more laid back; I mean, we obviously can’t have had that much to worry about in 2014 if the Word of the Year was actually ‘vape.’ Sure, hard times do show up when we see that 2008’s winner was ‘credit crunch’, but in all honesty the biggest controversy up until this point had been 2015’s Word of the Year: the crying emoji face.
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