2022 Words of the Year

With the end of yet another year, most dictionaries announce their word of the year. This word sums up how the English language morphed in the preceding 12 months, to recognize a trend in mainstream vernacular and comment on the human condition at that moment in time. So what did the various lexicographers choose as their word for 2022, one that reflects the world around us in that period?

The Oxford Dictionary which was chosen by the public for the first time is “goblin mode”.
According to Oxford University Press (OUP), publishers behind the Oxford English Dictionary, the slang term refers to a type of behaviour that is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations – traits that may have become familiar to many during the lockdowns. Social media can portray idealised versions of self-improvement, from waking at 5 a.m. and drinking a green smoothie, to keeping a journal, exercising and planning your weekly meal prep. That era may be on the way out. In its place is goblin mode – the opposite of trying to better yourself.

A group of lexicographers at OUP gave people a choice of: “Goblin mode,” “metaverse,” and “#IStandWith.” “Goblin mode” triumphed, racking up 318,956 votes or 93% of the total. “Metaverse” came in second and “#IStandWith” came third. ‘Goblin mode’ was the most popular word because it resonates with all of us who are feeling a little overwhelmed at this point. It’s a relief to acknowledge that we’re not always the idealised, curated selves that we’re encouraged to present on our Instagram and TikTok feeds. 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.

Over at Merriam-Webster, gaslighting is their word for 2022. In this age of misinformation, of fake news, conspiracy theories, Twitter trolls, and deepfakes, gaslighting or the act or practice of grossly misleading someone, especially for one’s advantage was looked up 1740% more in 2022 with high interest throughout the year. The word comes from the title of a 1938 play and the movie based on that play, the plot of which involves a man attempting to make his wife believe that she is going insane. His mysterious activities in the attic cause the house’s gas lights to dim, but he insists to his wife that the lights are not dimming and that she can’t trust her perceptions.

‘Permacrisis’, a term that describes ‘an extended period of instability and insecurity, has been named Collins Word of the Year 2022. It is one of several words Collins highlights that relate to ongoing crises the UK and the world have faced and continue to face, including political instability, the war in Ukraine, climate change, and the cost-of-living crisis. Six words on Collins’ list of ten words of the year are new to CollinsDictionary.com, including ‘permacrisis’.

At the Cambridge Dictionary, homer, or the informal American English term for a home run in baseball was the word chosen to represent 2022. The word saw more than 65,000 searches for homer on May 5, when it was the answer to that day’s Wordle with 95% of searches outside North America.

I had not heard of Oxford’s word of the year, but I am loving it and I am going to use it as much as I can this year. What is your favourite word of 2022?

2022 Week 52 Update

Happy New Year! May 2023 bring you love, luck, and prosperity, and may the year be the year you achieve all you desire. May this coming year lead you on a new exciting adventure, complete with life-changing experiences and deeper friendships.

Because of the rising COVID cases, especially in China, starting today, India has mandated RT-PCR tests for travellers from six countries, including China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Thailand. Those travelling from these countries need to submit a negative test within 72 hours of their flight on the Air Suvidha portal, just like before.

Also starting today, Singapore will increase the GST or the Goods and Service Tax from 7% to 8%. So everything will become slightly more expensive.

In 2022, I was not walking as much as I did in 2021. Over the entire year, I walked as much as 1000 km less in 2022. At the end of 2022, I am in the state of Madhya Pradesh, having just crossed the city of Jabalpur and about 600 km short of entering my home state of Maharashtra and about 1000 km to my home in Mumbai. Hopefully, I will reach both my home in Mumbai as well as my parents’ new address in Bengaluru.

I just about scrapped through my reading challenge in 2022, finishing my last book yesterday night. This year I read 70 books which are less than what I usually do. This, I attribute to the rise of OTT platforms which I see a lot of.

Today’s quote comes to us from the author Maria Robinson and I felt this is apt as a quote for the new year. What she reminds us and it is a timely reminder, especially today is that we can’t go back and start anew, but all of us can start today and make a new ending. It is a timely reminder for all of us!

Happy New Year readers and may 2023 be the year when all your dreams come true.

2022 Week 51 Update

Merry Christmas! To everyone around the world, may the magic of the festival bring peace and happiness…

As we countdown to the new year, both GG and BB are on a well-deserved break. Both have plans to meet up with friends and make the most of their break before school restarts.

China is in the midst of a huge Covid wave and there are concerns that this may, in turn, trigger a new variant. Hospitals are filling up fast, especially with the more vulnerable and the elderly. China’s home-grown vaccines have been proven less effective at protecting people against serious Covid illness and death than the mRNA vaccines used in much of the rest of the world. My prayers are with the people of China and hopefully this wave peaks soon and the situation comes under control very soon.

Today’s quote is a line from a classic I enjoyed as a child. Publishing as L.M. Montgomery, Lucy Maud Montgomery was a Canadian author best known for a collection of novels, essays, short stories, and poetry, beginning with the classic Ann of Green Gables from where this line is taken. This is something so simple, yet meaningful. I love this quote so much that I think I will use it as the basis for my next year. When I have to imagine something or dream of something, let me dream of something worthwhile. So dream on and while you are dreaming or imagining what your life will be, don’t imagine or dream of something small or inconsequential, dream big so it’s a dream that’s worth achieving!

And on that note, here’s wishing everyone a blessed Christmas and a wonderful end to 2022. Let’s hope 2023 is one where all our dreams are huge and ones that get achieved.

2022 Week 49 Update

The man who gave us the theory of relativity and one who needs no introduction, Albert Einstein exhorts us to strive not to be a success but to be of value. Everyone’s definition of success varies, but when one’s definition includes being of value, it gives us a sense of purpose and a direction of what we want in life. It sets us up for being that person who will inspire others and showcase what it means to be of value.

I have not walked much this year and so at the end of November, I am still in Uttar Pradesh, having just crossed one of the state’s biggest cities, Kanpur. I am still about a thousand kilometres from my home in Mumbai and slightly more than two thousand kilometres from Bengaluru where my parents now live.

GG’s midterms start tomorrow and she has been pretty stressed this week. This is her last semester and she wants to go out with the best grades possible. Because of her exams, she has not focused on her university applications. She will work on that during her Christmas break which will be as soon as her exams end.

BB is as usual busy with his Final Year Project and is in school every day. He seems to enjoy doing research in the lab and hopefully, after he completes his National Service obligations, he can work on this, either by going to university or working first before entering university.

Last week, I heard that Air India and Vistara are going to be merged, with Singapore Airlines which is one of the partners of Vistara, getting a 25% stake in the newly merged airline. Vistara is owned by the Tata group which also recently acquired India’s national airline, Air India. I have flown Air India only once, about twenty years back and after that trip, I decided I will pay more, but not fly Air India. I recently flew Vistara when I went to India earlier this year. I liked their onboard services, but their customer service leaves a lot to be desired. Hopefully, the new airline will emulate the best qualities of Singapore Airlines which is my favourite airline.

That’s all from me this week. Stay safe during the holidays.

2022 Week 48 Update

The countdown to 2023 has begun and we are just 27 days to the new year.

Today’s quote is from Brazilian author and lyricist Paolo Coelho. He tells us that when we are enthusiastic about something, everything we do becomes just that much easier. When we are disinterested, every task becomes tedious and laborious and we can’t wait to get over it. We are bored, unhappy, and disinterested. But when we approach the same task with enthusiasm, it becomes a joy and pleasure to do and we can’t wait to start working on it.

Singapore finally repealed Section 377A, a decades-old law that criminalises gay sex, at the same time endorsing changes to the Constitution to protect the current definition of marriage from legal challenge. This is a major milestone for Singapore and one that I endorse because I believe everyone has the right to live their authentic selves.

A United Nations panel has recommended that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef should be listed as a world heritage site that is in danger. The world’s biggest coral reef ecosystem was significantly impacted by climate change and the warming of oceans. Frequent bleaching events are threatening the reef, including four over the past seven years and the first during a La Nina phenomenon, which typically brings cooler temperatures, in 2022. This is something that urgently needs to be addressed because coral restoration is needed to save the reef.

BB & GG are busy with school with both having tests and exams soon. And that’s all from me this week. See you next week!