As the end of the calendar year draws near, so does the announcement of what the Oxford Word of the Year is for 2022. But this time, the public has the opportunity to vote.
Oxford University Press has revealed that everyone and anyone will be able to vote for the word that they think best encapsulates the last 12-months. In a statement, it said: “2022 has been a year defined by opening back up. However, although we have finally been able to physically reunite and come together again, our world somehow feels more divided than ever. In recognition of this shift, we wanted to open up the final step of our Word of the Year selection process to the true arbiters of language: people around the world.”
A list of nominated words have been confirmed, which are; “metaverse’, “#IStandWith” and “goblin mode”. The public will have until December 2 to vote and the winner will be announced on December 5.
Metaverse refers to the virtual world where people can live, work, shop, eat and make friends. Its usage has more-than-doubled and has risen in popularity due to its introduction by social media empire Meta in October.
Oxford Press has said that the nominated hashtag #IStandWith is in recognition of the activism and division that has characterised this year. A spokesperson explained: “From war in Ukraine, to the Depp v. Heard lawsuit, this ‘word’ coined on social media to align your views to a cause or person can often further foster dispute (and sometimes even hate speech) in its polarising nature.” It added that the hashtag has been viewed a total of 2.8 million times on TikTok alone.
Lastly, goblin mode is another new concept that has etched its name on the Oxford Word of the Year nominees list. It refers to the idea of rejecting societal expectations put upon us, in favour of doing whatever one wants to. The slang phrase was first coined in 2009 but has risen to prominence following Julia Fox’s break-up with rapper Kanye West.