Friday, November 13, 2020

Words of the year

From the Australian National Dictionary Centre, iso : “I think iso will be one way that we will talk about this period for a long time.”

From the Cambridge Dictionary, quarantine: “Our editors . . . were interested to find a new meaning emerging: ‘a general period of time in which people are not allowed to leave their homes or travel freely, so that they do not catch or spread a disease.’”

From the Collins Dictionary, lockdown : “a unifying experience for billions of people across the world, who have had, collectively, to play their part in combating the spread of COVID-19.”

From, pandemic : “The pandemic defined 2020, and it will define the years to come. It is a consequential word for a consequential year.”

Also from, the People’s Word of the Year, unprecedented : “Overfamiliarity, if not overuse, has prompted the popular sentiment that we should send the word into retirement. But in 2020, unprecedented is the word that just won’t go away.”

From Macmillan Dictionary’s crowdsourced Open Dictionary, lockdown : “a word that came to us from American English but in 2020 has acquired a new meaning that will surely resonate with those who experienced it for the rest of their lives.”

From Macquarie Dictionary, doomscrolling : “a very salient marker of 2020, with its barrage of troubling news, from the bushfires to the US elections and, of course, coronavirus.”

From Merriam-Webster, pandemic : “This has been a year unlike any other (the word unprecedented also had a significant spike in March), and pandemic is the word that has connected the worldwide medical emergency to the political response and to our personal experience of it all.”

From Oxford Languages, many words: “Given the phenomenal breadth of language change and development during 2020, Oxford Languages concluded that this is a year which cannot be neatly accommodated in one single word.”

I’ll add to this post as more words arrive.

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