There is a trend that at the end of every year, people would declare a something of the year: food of the year, drink of the year, celebrity of the year, and so on. It is a way of celebrating its presence and popularity throughout the year. For instance, Taylor Swift, with her songs like “You Need to Calm Down” and “Bad Blood” may be considered the celebrity of the year 2019 because of her profit and popularity. Well, ever wonder what the word of the year is? There are over 170,000 words in the English language—how can you choose what the 2019 word of the year is? Well, there may be a better question...
Why do we have a “word of the year”?
Aside from just being fun, determining the word of any year is done in order to find out two things: (1) what word people have most often used throughout the year and (2) what the overall context of that year is. Language serves as one of the foundations of society, with words as one of its most essential units. Altogether, having a word of the year is not just about celebrating a word for being used a lot but doing so for defining that year.
Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to pinpoint a particular word that captures the essence of an entire year. This would lead to extensive discussion and debate, as not every person defines a year the same because of differing experiences and perspectives. As a result, searching “2019 word of the year” in Google yields multiple results. What we will show here are a few of the most prominent results and a brief explanation on how and why those websites or companies picked those words.
Kicking off this brief list is the website Dictionary.com declaring “existential” as their word of the year 2019. “Existential” is a familiar term for many people. It is etymologically rooted in the word “existence,” and is often used in the context of people wanting to discuss about reality and their own lives, what purpose they serve in the grand scheme of things, and so on. The subject of existentialism comes to mind, in this regard.
Dictionary.com made an interesting choice here. Though the word is not one that has been used a lot lately, it does relate to what was occurring all throughout the year: climate change and its denial, the gun control issue, and continuing misinformation that are all coming together and tearing the fabric of society apart. Worst of all, so much effort had been put into solving it, yet nothing solved the problems in the long run. Perhaps, this is what prompts many to think about life and existence as a whole, inquiring into whether they can do anything about their current situation or if they can do nothing else than be resigned to fate.
… Okay, that seems a bit too gloomy to be picked as the word of the year 2019, but it is understandable where Dictionary.com is coming from. If anything, what can be drawn from this is that people are becoming more aware of their current situation - indeed, these issues are always on the list of academic essay writing tasks. At best, this will motivate them to figure out a way out of what has been taking place which would hopefully be resolved this 2020.
“They”? Are they sure? It is a very common word.
It is, but not in a certain way it is used.
Commonly, “they” is used as a plural third-person pronoun. In this particular context, “they” is used as a singular gender-neutral pronoun to refer to an individual from the LGBTQ+ community. This is done because of how fluid, dynamic, and—most of all—self-proclaimed gender is. To be precise, there are some homosexual men that prefer to be called “she,” while others prefer to still be called “he.” It becomes very complex, also, in the face of bisexuals and transexuals, whose preferences over what pronouns they want to be referred are largely varied and can be confusing.
As a solution, “they” became the universal gender-neutral pronoun. This is indicative of the limitations of current language to accommodate genders outside of the heteronormative—that is, straight male and straight female. Merriam-Webster’s choice of “they” as their 2019 word of the year is an attempt to instill awareness of the situation of the LGBTQ+ community: even in language are they not accommodated as much as they should be.
Oxford Languages: “climate emergency”
Wait, that is more than one word!
Well, technically, “climate emergency” is a single word—a compound word, to be exact, made of “climate” and “emergency.”
Oxford Languages’ choice of having “climate emergency” as 2019 word of the year would strongly indicate a particular focus on environmental issues. If you look at some of the biggest events that took place, this is actually very accurate: the Amazon fires and Indonesian fires, global warming and an alarming negligence of many people towards it, and man-made climate change slowly making a permanent mark on the world. And let us not forget the memorable Greta Thunberg and her thunderous presence at the UN Climate Summit. Admittedly, it is most probably Thunberg that accelerated “climate emergency” into the status of word of the year 2019.
This does put things into perspective. This word demonstrates not only how a 17-year-old can inspire people into action but also the priorities of current society and the consequences that were borne from our negligence. If Oxford Languages’ choice of “climate emergency” as 2019 word of the year is moving you to action for the climate, here is a list of ways of how you can save the environment.
So, which one is the 2019 word of the year?
“Why is there more than one 2019 word of the year?” you might ask. Definitely, there are many fitting words that can be used to describe all of 2019. The basis for choosing such a delicate word is, often, two things: (1) the context of the overall situation of the world and (2) the people themselves.
So, the people who have received a lot of riches and fortunes and less of incidents would have “wealth” as their word of the year 2019, for instance. Likewise, those who faced nothing but tragedies and see the world pessimistically may use “tragic.” There are also those who rely heavily on context and social awareness, like Merriam-Webster declaring “they” as their word of the year 2019 in commemoration of the emergence of the LGBTQ+ community.
In the end, however, the 2019 word of the year should not be based on what anyone else should say. Rather, it depends on you, the individual who has his/her own experiences of what happened in 2019. Of course, there is no stopping you taking up on what each of the above dictionaries declared as its 2019 word of the year. Advisably, though, it is best to take them as suggestions, maybe even as guidelines.
With that said, what is your 2019 word of the year?
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We hope that you are satisfied with the selection for the 2019 word of the year. If it were up to us, though, the word that sits on the spot for our 2019 word of the year would be “essay.” Writing essays is one of the best ways to express our thoughts of the situation. With everything that has been going on, it has been recently jarring, and one of our only tools to keep things in order is through essay writing. College students, at one point, would be asked to write an essay about a particular issue. While all of us certainly have an opinion on the matter, some of us are not quite inclined in writing a good essay. Thankfully, another word shares the spot for our 2019 word of the year: “custom.” As a ghostwriting service company, we have been offering students, professors, and professionals everywhere a wide variety of services since 2006: custom papers, custom term papers, custom dissertations, custom research papers, and whatever combination you can make with the words “custom” and “paper”! With a roster of over two hundred seasoned writing experts and thousands of satisfied customers under our belt, we are relied on by many as the go-to custom writing service across the world. Make “custom” your 2019 word of the year, too, and enlist our writing aid now!