Clothes aren't the only things subject to the constant churn of trends and culture. Words are too. And while they may have been given what I like to imagine as a preliminary meaning, we all know that language comes alive only after we've uttered it ourselves, embedding it with new meaning. So much so, that if one ever wanted to take a temperature check on the culture, we'd simply direct you to the language of the day. And as 2021 draws to a close, the Collins Dictionary is doing just that. As part of its annual tradition, the organisation is reflecting on the year that was in words. Can you guess what took out the top spot?
In a somewhat cringe, but unsurprising turn of events, 'NFT' has been dubbed the 2021 word of the year. The crypto evangelists can pat themselves on the back, all that talking was not in vain. A close runner up is our favourite scathing insult, 'cheugy'. The term refers to the more basic inclinations of millennials, although it's not exclusive to them; think "I did a thing" and any 'girl-boss' aligned propaganda. Perhaps even this list?
Also making the lineup is 'climate anxiety' and 'double-vaxxed', which at this point I hope we are all using in reference to ourselves. Just like last year, when expressions like 'lockdown', 'social distancing' and 'key worker' flooded the list, the pandemic still weighs heavily on our current vocabulary.
From this point on, the list quickly deteriorates, with 'metaverse' making the cut — thanks for that Zuck, as well as 'hybrid-working' and yes, the god forsaken 'crypto'.
Was 2021 really that depressing? Or is the Collins Dictionary particularly obsessed with the more crap moments of this year? We'll let you decide.
For the full list of words announced by Collins Dictionary, check out the Instagram post below.
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