It’s now January, and we often look back at the previous year to think about all the events of the last twelve months. For English students like you, and some language nerds like myself, probably the most useful thing to think about is the trends in language use over the past year!
Language always evolves
Language is never static, it is always changing and adapting to modern times. This means that every year there are new words invented that become popular and commonly used. At the same time there are words that fall out of favour and become less trendy. For most English learners standard vocabulary textbooks are fine, listening to podcasts also help or you can watch TV shows. By doing this you can keep up to date with the latest trends. Although, if you want to keep up with an evolving language like English then it’s certainly worth checking out the word of the year.
The English word of the year was…
In 2022 it was the first time that the public has chosen the English word of the year. The winning word was “goblin mode” which is a slang term meaning “unapologetically self-indulgent, greedy, slovenly, or lazy” behaviour.
This term started to crop up online in 2009, although it went viral earlier on in 2022. It started off from a fictitious headline scandal involving actress Julia Fox as well as a popular Reddit post describing someone who has been acting like a goblin.
Once Covid restrictions eased, people realised they didn’t want to return to the lives we had before and so the term continued to grow in use.
The term may seem in some ways to be quite a frivolous choice although in fact the more you look into it, the more you realise it is indeed a kind of reaction to our current situation. We’re sort of retreating and thinking more about what we want out of life.
2021’s word of the year was vax, reflecting the interest in vaccines after a coronavirus vaccine was released.
Here are the previous words of the year:
(No single word)
Emoji tears of joy