Oxford Word of the Year 2022 to be chosen by public voting


With the year 2022 coming to an end, it is time to pause and reflect upon the year that was. This is also the time when popular Dictionaries announce their Word of the Year, which either aptly sums up or is the most-used/ searched word in the past 12 months. But, this year, for the first time in Oxford Dictionary’s history, the Word of the Year 2022 will be chosen by public vote.

“2022 has been a year defined by opening back up. However, although we have finally been able to physically reunite and come together again, our world somehow feels more divided than ever.

“In recognition of this shift, we wanted to open up the final step of our Word of the Year selection process to the true arbiters of language: people around the world. How we communicate and develop the English language affects Oxford’s selection every year, but for the first time in its history, the 2022 Word of the Year will be chosen by the public,” read a statement on OUP’s website.

A team of lexicographers have zeroed-down on three words, from a longlist, for this year’s Word of the Year. The words are:

1. Metaverse

“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,” reads OUP’s statement.

2. #IStandWith

It “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,” the statement reads.

3. Goblin mode

It refers to “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,” reads a statement on OUP’s website.

People can go to OUP’s website and vote for one of the above three words to be chosen as Oxford’s Word of the Year 2022. The polling is open till December 2, 2022 and the winning word would be announced on December 5, 2022.

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