Fake news, a term heavily popularised by US President Donald Trump, has been named the word of the year by Collins dictionary due to its widespread use around the world
The use of “fake news” registered a 365 per cent rise in the last 12 months, reflecting Trump’s consistent use of the word in the wake of the 2016 presidential election in retaliation to unflattering media coverage as per the UK-based lexicographer.
“Fake news, either as a statement of fact or as an accusation, has been inescapable this year, contributing to the undermining of society’s trust in news reporting,” said Helen Newstead, Collins’ head of language content.
Both British Prime Minister Theresa May and Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn along with Trump have included it in speeches, and social media has been littered with accusations of fake news.
Other words on the 2017 shortlist included “genderfluid”, defined as not identifying exclusively with one gender rather than another; “fidget spinner”, the toy being twirled by children around the world; and “gig economy” – the term for a system of casual, unstable employment that firms like Uber are associated with.
“Much of this year’s list is definitely politically charged, but with a new president in the US and a snap election in the UK it is perhaps no surprise that politics continues to electrify the language,” Newstead noted.