‘Post-truth’ is Oxford’s word of the year

The Sun (Malaysia) - - FRONT PAGE -

LON­DON: The Oxford Dictionaries chose “post-truth” as its word of the year, 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% since last year.

It de­fined the word as “re­lat­ing to 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, ‘post­truth’ as a con­cept has been find­ing its lin­guis­tic foot­ing for some time,” he added.

The Oxford Dictionaries said the word “post-truth” had be­come “over­whelm­ingly” as­so­ci­ated with pol­i­tics.

Char­lotte Bux­ton, as­so­ciate editor at Oxford Dictionaries, said: “It’s tied in quite closely with the so­cial me­dia world now and how peo­ple are ac­cess­ing their news.

“I think it re­flects a trend of how emo­tion and in­di­vid­ual re­ac­tions are be­com­ing more and more im­por­tant. Peo­ple are re­strict­ing their news con­sump­tion to sources that don’t claim to be neu­tral.”

A run­ner-up for words of the year was the Bri­tish term “Brex­i­teer” used for anti-EU ad­vo­cates. – AFP

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