Dictionaries choose new words for 2016

By Patrice L

What word captures the crazy roller-coaster year that was 2016? Dictionary sites like Merriam-Webster, Dictionary.com, and Oxford English Dictionary have all chosen words that they feel best represent the year by looking at what words are getting searched up the most.

In previous years the organizations chose pop-culture slang words such as “emoji” , “vape”, “selfie”, and “GIF” as their chosen word for the year. But this year the dictionary sites decided to chose words that in one way or another reflected the tumultuous political season and overall social turmoil of the year.

Dictionary.com chose the word xenophobia while Merriam-Webster chose surreal and Oxford chose post-truth as their top word for 2016.

Oxford has defined “post-truth” as “Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”.  “No matter how factually or statistically perfect something seems, if you’re not happy nothing else matter,” said senior Kristin Cundiff. According to Oxford: “[post-truth] has moved from being relatively new to being widely understood in the course of a year”

Dictionary.com has defined “xenophobia” as “fear or hatred of forigners, people from different cultures, or strangers”. “It’s been such a big deal because of how much the President has been talking about it,” said senior Maddy Cook. “People can agree with him openly and this leads to Islamophobia and racism”.
Merriam-Webster has defined “surreal” as “marked by the intense, irrational reality of a dream”. They all cited the political events of the United Kingdom and the United States as a primary examples for why they chose their respective words.