2016’s Word Of The Year Is Painfully Appropriate

Photo: Courtesy of Oxford English Dictionary.
Man, 2016 has been a wild ride. We've seen Europe deal with Brexit, and then we barely clawed our way through the presidential election. And for many of us, the majority of news we read concerning both topics came from Facebook. These things combined to make the 2016 Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year all too fitting. That word is "post-truth." According to Oxford Dictionaries, post-truth is an adjective that means "relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief." Told you it was too real. The president of Oxford Dictionaries Casper Grathwohl said in a statement that post-truth has been gaining traction as a concept for a while because of the rise in social media's use as a news source and "a growing distrust of facts offered up by the establishment." This year, we saw the word's usage increase drastically in June following Brexit and again in July when Donald Trump was named the GOP's presidential candidate. Overall usage of the word has spiked about 2,000% in 2016. Grathwohl wrote, "Given that usage of the term hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down, I wouldn’t be surprised if post-truth becomes one of the defining words of our time." I hope he's wrong. I'd much prefer our generation be remembered for "staying woke" or almost any other word that made 2016's short list.

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