NEW YORK (CBSNews) — Word of the Year for 2017 — it’s only fall, but the field is already so crowded, and the fight for Word of the Year will be fierce.
Let’s look at what might be the contenders:
- Fake news
- Alternative facts
- Reclaiming my time
- Taking a knee
- And of course, covfefe, which our President tweeted just after midnight on the last day of May, and, even now, its meaning remains mysterious.
But there is one word that trumps all others. You guessed it: according to the Oxford University Press, use of the word “Trump” has increased 839 percent. They analyzed over 100,000 short stories written by British children for a competition, and have already declared “Trump” to be the Children’s Word of this Year.
From those kids’ imaginations emerged such characters as Boggle Trump, Snozzle Trump, and Trumplestilskin.
It bears noting that recent past Words of the Year were not so overtly political: The American Dialect Society gave us “Dumpster fire” last year.
Remember when “tweet” described a sweet new technology, rather than a weapon of mass destruction aimed at?
These are totally political times. Politics has shoved pop culture aside — politics is pop culture.
It seems nowadays that new words divide, diminish, provoke. Words are leading not to understanding, but entrenchment.
As for this year’s word, we know for sure what it won’t be. It won’t be Namaste, which people like to say at the end of yoga class to mean, “I bow to you.”
Naaah! 2017 is way less “namaste” than “covfefe.”
Kind of makes you nostalgic for Oxford’swhich wasn’t a word at all. It was: