THANKS, in part, to the gorgeous Ivanka Trump, one word-obsessed site’s Word of the Year for 2017 is “complicit.” Thrice this year, the number of those who looked up the word in the dictionary.com site rose by thousands of percentage points, including last April 5, right after a televised Ivanka Trump intervi ew.
In that interview, the US president’s daughter told CBS that she didn’t “know what it means to be complicit” but that “if being complicit is wanting to be a force for good and to make a positive impact, then I’m complicit.” That’s not what it means, dear. Complicit means “choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act, especially with others; having a partnership or involvement in wrongdoing.
Or, put simply, it means being, at some level, responsible for something, even if indirectly,” dictionary.com pointed out. The word sprung from a 17th Century French term, complice, meaning “accomplice, comrade, companion,” according to the Online Etymology Dictionary. Dictionary.com’s editors and writers explained they were also inspired to pick “complicit” by the stories “of those who have refused to be complicit.”
Each Word of the Year “serves as a symbol of the year’s most meaningful events and lookup trends.” The site’s recent choices reveal how much politics has played a central role in people’s discussions: their choices included “xenophobia” (2016), “identity” (2015), “exposure” (2014), “privacy” (2013), and “bluster” (2012).
One can be actively complicit, yet one can also become complicit by inaction. Whether or not one becomes complicit in a public controversy depends on how much one will allow and what, in the end, one will stand up or speak up against. In the Philippines, complicity turned up in a recent House committee hearing on the impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
In an “unprecedented” appearance before the House justice committee last Wednesday, Associate Justice Teresita de Castro spoke about some of her grievances against the chief justice. For one, Associate Justice de Castro believes that the chief justice “created confusion” in reopening the Regional Court Administration Office (RCAO) based in Cebu, allegedly without the involvement of the other SC justices or the court administrat or.