WORD OF THE YEAR
The word wizards at Oxford Dictionary have chosen “toxic” as their official word of the year, which they deem to be a word or expression which reflects the “ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year,” with a future role in cultural significance.
“In 2018, toxic added many strings to its poisoned bow becoming an intoxicating descriptor for the year’s most talked about topics. It is the sheer scope of its application, as found by our research, that made toxic the stand-out choice for the Word of the Year title,” the dictionary explains.
“Our data shows that, along with a 45 percent rise in the number of times it has been looked up on OxfordDictionaries.com, over the last year the word toxic has been used in an array of contexts, both in its literal and more metaphorical senses.”
The researchers found that “toxic” was used to describe chemicals, gas, air, algae, waste, environments, relationships, culture — and one more topic.
“After ‘chemical’, ‘masculinity’ is the most-used word in conjunction with toxic this year. With the #MeToo movement putting a cross-industry spotlight on toxic masculinity, and watershed political events like the Brett Kavanaugh Senate judiciary committee hearing sparking international debate, the term toxic masculinity has well and truly taken root in the public consciousness and got people talking in 2018,” the Oxford rationale notes.