Climate Emergency named as Oxford’s Word of the Year 2019

Oxford Dictionaries has named ‘Climate Emergency’ as its 2019 Word of the Year. It has been chosen from an all-environmental shortlist that also included ‘climate denial,’ ‘climate action,’ ‘eco-anxiety,’ ‘flight shame’ and ‘extinction.’ Being chosen as Word of the Year, reflects that ‘Climate Emergency’ was a real preoccupation of the English-speaking world in 2019.

As per data collected in Oxford Corpus, the use of term ‘Climate Emergency’ increased by a 100 times as much since 2018. Oxford Corpus is a database containing hundreds of millions of words of written English. Moreover, it was the most common compound involving ‘emergency,’ occurring 3 times as often as next most-common, ‘health emergency.’

What does ‘Word of the Year’ mean?

The Word of the Year citation is intended to highlight a word/ expression shown through usage evidence to reflect ethos or mood or preoccupations of passing year (in this case 2019), as well as have a lasting potential as a term of cultural significance. Recent winners in past includes: ‘toxic,’ ‘vape’, ‘youthquake,’ and ‘post-truth.’ Usually, the shortlist includes a variety of different words that illustrate new trends in language usage.

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