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Another New Year and New Words of the Year

We couldn’t let the New Year ring in without a follow up to our previous words of the year (WOTY) post to let you know of Merriam-Webster and Cambridge Dictionary’s recently announced WOTY.

Liberty and JUSTICE for all

Merriam-Webster anointed “justice” as its 2018 word of the year. Varied in meaning and something we seek, the word was a top lookup on last year, up 74% compared to 2017. Merriam-Webster cites the year’s big news stories, centered around justice, as the driver. According to Merriam-Webster, “the concept of justice was at the center of many national debates in the past year: racial justice, social justice, criminal justice, economic justice” and used frequently during the Supreme Court Justice confirmation hearing in 2018.

My phone, my phone, where is my phone?

On the lighter side (maybe?!), Cambridge Dictionary’s People’s Word of 2018 is “nomophobia,” described as “the fear of being without or unable to use your mobile phone.” Dictionary blog readers, social media followers and fans chose the word from a shortlist selected by Cambridge Dictionary editors. Nomophobia is a blended word comprised of syllables from “no mobile phone phobia.” Although not a truly scientific phobia, we’ve all witnessed it first-hand. The word originated in a 2008 UK Post Office report, then made its way into the UK media and has since gone global.

Words are powerful tools that can reflect the times ─ and these two new WOTY are no exception.