Ox­ford Dic­tionar­ies name ‘post-truth’ word of year

Kuwait Times - - NEWS -

LON­DON: The Ox­ford Dic­tionar­ies chose “post-truth” as their word of the year yes­ter­day, say­ing its use had spiked be­cause of the Brexit vote in Bri­tain and the rise of Don­ald Trump in the United States. “Post-truth has gone from be­ing a pe­riph­eral term to be­ing a main­stay in po­lit­i­cal com­men­tary,” the Ox­ford Dic­tionar­ies said in a state­ment, not­ing that us­age had in­creased by 2,000 per­cent since last year. The pub­lisher de­fined the word as “re­lat­ing or de­not­ing cir­cum­stances in which ob­jec­tive facts are less influential in shap­ing public opin­ion than ap­peals to emo­tion and per­sonal be­lief”.

“It’s not sur­pris­ing that our choice re­flects a year dom­i­nated by highly-charged po­lit­i­cal and so­cial dis­course,” said Casper Grath­wohl, pres­i­dent of Ox­ford Dic­tionar­ies. “Fu­elled by the rise of so­cial me­dia as a news source and a grow­ing dis­trust of facts of­fered up by the es­tab­lish­ment, ‘post-truth’ as a con­cept has been find­ing its lin­guis­tic foot­ing for some time. “We first saw the fre­quency re­ally spike this year in June with buzz over the Brexit vote and again in July when Don­ald Trump se­cured the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion.”

The run­ners-up for words of the year in­cluded the Bri­tish term “Brex­i­teer” used for anti-EU ad­vo­cates. “Alt-right” also made the short­list, de­fined as an ul­tra-con­ser­va­tive group­ing in the United States “char­ac­ter­ized by a re­jec­tion of main­stream pol­i­tics and the use of on­line me­dia to dis­sem­i­nate de­lib­er­ately con­tro­ver­sial con­tent”. Trump’s ap­point­ment of anti-es­tab­lish­ment me­dia fire­brand Steve Ban­non, seen as a leader of the “alt-right” move­ment, as his chief of staff ear­lier this week has proved highly con­tro­ver­sial.

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