London: With political upheavals like the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency and Brexit, Oxford Dictionaries has declared “post-truth” to be its international word of the year citing a 2,000% spike in its usage.
The word is an adjective, defined in the dictionary as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”. The usage of the word has increased by around 2,000% since last year, the dictionary’s research showed.
The word has been in existence for more than two decades but a rise in its demand coincided with the EU referendum and the US presidential race, Oxford Dictionaries said. The increase in usage of ‘post-truth’ saw the term eventually emerge ahead of the pack.
“We first saw the frequency really spike this year in June with buzz over the Brexit vote and Donald Trump securing the Republican presidential nomination. Given that usage of the term hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down, I wouldn’t be surprised if post-truth becomes one of the defining words of our time,” Oxford Dictionaries president Casper Grathwohl was quoted as saying by the Mirror.
“It’s not surprising that our choice reflects a year dominated by highly charged political and social discourse. Fuelled by the rise of social media as a news source and a growing distrust of facts offered up by the establishment, ‘post-truth’ as a concept has been finding its linguistic footing for some time,” Grathwohl said. The word beat competition from “adulting,” “alt-right,” “Brexiteer,” “glass cliff” and “woke”. Last year’s, controversial, choice was the “face with tears of joy” emoji. PTI