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The 2017 Collins Word of the Year Is… “Fake News”

Dave Parrack 03-11-2017

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 What Is Fake News and How Does It Spread So Quickly? Fake news is plaguing the internet and the worst part is that most people can't recognize it when they see it. Read More .

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 Faux News: 10 Best Websites for Fake News & Satire Read More . 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!

Related topics: Dictionary, Fake News.

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  1. John Kelleher
    November 9, 2017 at 9:32 am

    The term fake news has become almost a psychological defense mechanism for the left and right. You say something off their narrative and you're called a bot, paid troll (I wish I was paid) or Russian operative pushing fake news. Fake news is a whole new level of batshit crazy in American politics and there is no reasoning with that kind of crazy. The term fake news doesn't just describe the propaganda being pushed by mainstream media as fact but a deeper political division in America.

  2. Gazoo
    November 3, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    I like that this word/phrase has become Collins Word of the Year. It represents much more than an attack but an awakening for the American public about how news organizations - left, right, middle (if it even exists) - use the very privilege of informing and exposing as a tool for personal gain.

    I think lots of people have become better critical thinkers as a result. They'll not only read news with a healthy skepticism but apply the same kind of thinking to books and other forms of one-sided communications. There are still many (most?) that prefer to isolate and live in a bubble of their own making. For many others, the hidden truths related to manipulation, censorship, hidden partnerships, personal empowerment and other motivating factors have been visibly revealed.

    The result, sadly... is that this has had little effect on those privileged few whose job it is to inform. They have, instead, doubled-down with so much biased noise that it borders on vulgarity. Those of us trying to remain informed have begun to tune it all out or forced to read from additional sources on the spectrum to get some semblance of the truth.

    • dragonmouth
      November 3, 2017 at 9:05 pm

      "those privileged few whose job it is to inform"
      Who might they be???
      The days of unbiased reporting are long gone (if they ever existed). The talking heads on news shows are there to entertain, not to inform. Scratch the talking heads, it is all media that tries to entertain, not to inform. Firstly, good news stories are rarely reported. Secondly, all stories are reported in a most sensationalized way. The old newspaper adage is "If it bleeds, it leads". Today, almost every story "bleeds" and the more profusely, the better. There is a reason why they are called "stories". It is because the facts rarely get in the way.

  3. dragonmouth
    November 3, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    " Is it an actual problem?"
    No, but the constant (over)use of the term is.

    "has the whole thing been blown out of all proportion?"
    YES! It is getting to the point that the use of "fake news" is approaching the frequency of use of the suffix "-gate" in reference to anything that can considered a scandal.

    "Does it deserve its billing as the Word of the Year for 2017?"
    Based on the amount of its overuse, most definitely.