Dictionary.com is demanding we all take a long hard look at ourselves by declaring the Word of the Year for 2017 to be “complicit.” You know who you are.
In a press release, Dictionary.com writes that many people have had complicity on the brain, in relation to a wide range of topics and potential personal responsibility:
“Lookups for the word complicit increased by nearly 300 percent in searches in 2017 as compared to 2016,” said Liz McMillan, CEO of Dictionary.com. “We continue to see a direct correlation between trending word lookups and current events, and we find it encouraging that our users are dedicated to understanding the language and words that pop up in the biggest news stories of the year.”
The release suggests that political news about Trump’s ties to Russia may have spurred some searches, but also draws a connection to humanity’s complicity in climate change. And don’t forget the many, many people complicit in the Harvey Weinstein scandal, who helped his personal sexual assault machine churn along for decades.
Dictionary.com knows we should all hang our heads in shame.
But there were some popular searches that suggest a better Word of the Year on the horizon for 2018, perhaps something associated with a penis asteroid podcast meme, if we’re lucky:
‘intersex’ trended in January thanks to the model Hanne Gaby Odiele speaking up about being intersex to break taboos
‘shrinkage’ trended in February because the house featured on the famous episode of Seinfeld where this term was introduced was placed on the market
‘tarnation’ trended in the first few months of 2017 due to the “What in tarnation” meme, in which people circulated images of animals and objects wearing cowboy hats
‘horologist’ trended this year, thanks to the subject of the podcast S-Town, who worked as a clock maker
‘totality’ trended in August in relation to the solar eclipse
Can’t believe “impeachment” didn’t make the list.