‘Post-truth’ named Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year in wake of Donald Trump and Brexit

It beat 'alt-right', 'Brexiteer' and 'woke'

Christopher Hooton
Wednesday 16 November 2016 10:12
Comments
'Mr. Brexit' and president-elect Donald Trump with UKIP leader Nigel Farage
'Mr. Brexit' and president-elect Donald Trump with UKIP leader Nigel Farage

The US and UK receive a joint Word of the Year from Oxford Dictionaries in 2016, no doubt in light of their seismic political shifts.

‘Post-truth’ is the word, which it defines as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”.

It was at the centre of Adam Curtis’ recent BBC documentary HyperNormalisation and has been popular in journalistic coverage of both Donald Trump’s election as president and Nigel Farage’s successful Brexit campaign.

The term has been around since 1992, when it was used with regards to the Persian Guld War, but has spiked 2000% in usage this year.

‘Post-truth’ beat other political terms including ‘alt-right’ and ‘Brexiteer’ to accolade, which “reflects the passing year in language”.

A separate is usually chosen for the US and UK, but Katherine Connor Martin, the head of United States dictionaries at Oxford University Press, explained: “What we found especially interesting is that [post-truth] encapsulated a trans-Atlantic phenomenon

“Often, when looking at words, you’ll find one that’s a really big deal in the UK but not in the US.”

HyperNormalisation detailed how, in the post-truth world, we have “retreated into a simplified and often completely fake version of the world”.

The word follows last year’s controversial choice which was not a word at all but the ‘face with tears of joy’ emoji.

(via Telegraph)

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in