Dictionary.com announced that 2017's Word of the Year was “complicit,” which felt like the cynical truth. Merriam-Webster is offering a much more positive alternative. According to them, the word of the year is “feminism.” Okay.
The Associated Press reports that “feminism” has made it into the top ten for the past few years, indicating it was a thing, but not a thing everyone felt they needed. Apparently, the events of 2017 have pushed folks to pick up a dictionary and see exactly what this feminism is all about:
“The word feminism was being use in a kind of general way,” Sokolowski said by phone from the company’s headquarters in Springfield, Massachusetts. “The feminism of this big protest, but it was also used in a kind of specific way: What does it mean to be a feminist in 2017? Those kinds of questions are the kinds of things, I think, that send people to the dictionary.”
With an accused assaulter of women in the highest office in the land, on a day when an alleged pedophile may be elected to the US Senate, it’s difficult to feel much exultation about the power of feminism in this era. But it is also true that there is currently a reckoning in less powerful spheres of our society, where men are getting dragged down for crimes the president thus far avoided prosecution for. The Women’s March was a powerful symbolic moment of resistance, and recent local elections suggest that some change is happening out there. Perhaps the word of the year for 2018 will be hope???
Anyway, the runner-up word of the year for Merriam-Webster was also “complicit.”