Donald Trump Smiling

2017’s Word of the Year Is…Not Actually a Word

Collins Publishers of Collins English Dictionary has announced their 2017 Word of the Year, and to my eternal disappointment, it’s not even a word. Congratulations to the 2017 ‘Word’ of the Year,  ‘fake news,’ which beat out newly influential words ‘insta’ and ‘fidget spinner.’


The phrase has been consistent in headlines and on Twitter, and despite not actually being a word, the Word of the Year title is hard to discredit as the phrase has seen a 365% rise in use in 2017. As is typical, the word of the year will be featured in their next printing of dictionaries. 


Collins Dictionary's definition of fake news

Image via Harper Collins


Previous Words of the Year have been equally as trendy, including 2016’s Brexit, 2015’s binge-watch (another phrase, uuuuugh), 2014’s photobomb, and 2013’s geek


At this point in the article we’re going to transition from reporting on the news to my own opinion. Am I the only one who’s really annoyed by this? Specifically, that they’ve clearly awarded a Word of the Year title to a phrase, and a phrase that if you ask me, isn’t spectacularly new or notable. It’s just another oxymoron coined by a moron, in my opinion, of course.


To prove my point, here are some other (un)remarkable oxymorons made of common adjectives and nouns that have never been awarded Word of the Year, nor are they featured in a dictionary:


  • Jumbo shrimp
  • Same difference
  • Old news
  • Unbiased opinion
  • Living dead
  • Good grief


I could go on, but I think we’re all bored of me listing oxymorons that don’t deserve an explicit definition, because both parts of these phrases are easily defined because they are common words. Maybe I’m just a huge bummer, but I don’t think that ‘fake news’ deserves its own entry in a dictionary when each individual word’s definition tells you exactly what you need to know. 


We’d have been better off with ‘fidget spinner.’ I don’t understand the sensationalism around the damn things and that’s saying something, considering I’m part of their target demographic. 


Fidget Spinner

Image Via The New Yorker


Featured Image Via Mother Jones.