Collins Dictionary has named its Word of the Year for 2017 as “Fake News”. Literally. Even though it’s technically two words. Donald Trump’s favorite saying beat out competition from the likes of “Fidget Spinner”, “Gig Economy”, and “Echo Chamber” to cement its place in the English lexicon.
2017 is drawing to a close, which means we’ll see various institutions revealing their Word of the Year. Collins Dictionary has published early, deciding that “Fake News” deserves the plaudits for 2017. Which, for other organizations yet to decide on their WOTY, may itself constitute fake news.
It’s Insta-Cuffing Season for Unicorns
Collins Dictionary has chosen “Fake News” as its Word of the Year. “Fake News” beat other words on the shortlist, including “Antifa”, “Gender-fluid”, “Insta”, “Unicorn”, and “Cuffing Season”. The latter being the period of autumn and winter, when single people seek serious relationships.
Collins defines “Fake News” as “false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting”. It has seen a usage increase of 365 percent since 2016. And while Donald Trump didn’t invent the term, he certainly popularized it during and after the 2016 U.S. elections.
Fake news isn’t a new phenomenon. People have been telling half-truths for generations, and people have always fallen for them. However, use of the term “Fake News” has spiked massively in recent months, with social media making it much easier to spread misinformation far and wide.
Fake news has become such a common phrase that there are even different levels of it. There’s the fake news that’s entirely fictional. And then there’s the biased interpretation of a legitimate event that is twisted to within an inch of its life before reaching its intended audience.
What If Collins Is Spreading Fake News?!
Depending on your point of view, fake news has either influenced the results of elections, or is entirely benign. Regardless, it’s easy to see why Collins has named “Fake News” its Word of the Year for 2017. Unless this whole thing is fake news, with Collins revealing the real winner tomorrow.
How do you feel about the term, “Fake News”? Is it an actual problem? Or has the whole thing been blown out of all proportion? Does it deserve its billing as the Word of the Year for 2017? Or do you have a better suggestion? Please let us know in the comments below!