WORD OF THE YEAR

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

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.

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