#IStandWith, Metaverse, and Goblin Mode are Finalists For Oxford Word of the Year (WOTY); For First Time WOTY Will Be Determined by Public Vote
UPDATE: December 4, 2022: Goblin Mode is the Oxford Word of the Year (WOTY) 2022
From an Oxford U. Press Blog Post:
‘Goblin mode’ – a slang term, often used in the expressions ‘in goblin mode’ or ‘to go goblin mode’ – is ‘a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.’
Although first seen on Twitter in 2009, goblin mode went viral on social media in February 2022, quickly making its way into newspapers and magazines after being tweeted in a mocked-up headline. The term then rose in popularity over the months following as Covid lockdown restrictions eased in many countries and people ventured out of their homes more regularly. Seemingly, it captured the prevailing mood of individuals who rejected the idea of returning to ‘normal life’, or rebelled against the increasingly unattainable aesthetic standards and unsustainable lifestyles exhibited on social media.
See Also: Coverage From the NY Times
In recognition of this shift, we wanted to open up the final step of our Word of the Year selection process to the true arbiters of language: people around the world. How we communicate and develop the English language affects Oxford’s selection every year, but for the first time in its history, the 2022 Word of the Year will be chosen by the public.
Our team of expert lexicographers have narrowed down a longlist of worthy contestants to a final choice of three words.
The three words are: metaverse, #IStandWith, and goblin mode – each relevant to the year in a different way:
- In ‘metaverse’, we see the conceptual future brought into the vernacular in 2022. From hybrid working in VR, to debates over the ethics and feasibility of an entirely online future, usage of this word has quadrupled in October 2022 compared to the same period last year.
- ‘#IStandWith’ recognizes the activism and division that has characterized this year. From war in Ukraine, to the Depp v. Heard lawsuit, this ‘word’ coined on social media to align your views to a cause or person can often further foster dispute (and sometimes even hate speech) in its polarizing nature.
- ‘Goblin mode’ is another relatively new concept: the idea of rejecting societal expectations put upon us, in favour of doing whatever one wants to. Early usage dates back to 2009/10, but as we emerged from lockdowns all over the world, the phrase has been coined in rejection of returning ‘back to normal’ after a fake ‘quote’ from Julia Fox brought the term back into the mainstream.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.