Word of the Year!

by Olivia Berard, Copy Editor

A toss up of words could describe this year for me: mediocre, quick, full. But the word that Merriam-Webster deemed to fully summarize this year is “gaslight”. The word holds a grim undertone in media and society, which was a topic of discussion this past year. The dictionary definition is “the act or practice of grossly misleading someone especially for one’s own advantage”. 

Even though the word wasn’t voted on, searches increased 1740% over the year according to Merriam-Webster. The odd quirk is the lack of any specific event that drove the spike in searches, which is unlike words in years prior. 

The Oxford English Dictionary came out with their word of the year selected by the people: “goblin mode”. The definition is “a type of behavior which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations”. The word’s popularity was due to the emergence of society after the pandemic lockdown. People could have chosen between three options: “goblin mode”, “metaverse”, and the hashtag “IStandWith”.

Despite Merriam-Webster and The Oxford English Dictionary coming out with their words of the year, I decided that Glen Rock High School needed to claim a word for their own. Each English teacher elected a word they associated with 2022 and the student body voted for which fit best. 

35.5% of students chose the word “jumbled” as their word of the year, which was picked out by Miss Ruiz. She chose this word because she noticed that students have difficulty remembering what day it is, when assignments are due and deciding what clubs to join. She says, “Not necessarily chaotic, but there is so much going on for them to explore in their new academic experiences.” 

The word “gaslight” was a close second place with 21%. Due to its popularity, the word was added to the list so students could establish it as the best fit word of the year. A student said, I picked this word because it is a new and commonly used word.”

Third place was claimed by “renewal”, selected by 11.3% of students, a word chosen by Mrs. Krapels. She says, “2022 has been the most “normal” feeling year in recent memory, and while we certainly still have hurdles to clear, it’s hard to deny that this year has felt like a second (or third, or hundredth) chance.” 

The words list was extensive, including words such as “deliberate”, “kaleidoscope”, “duality”, “awake”, “balance” and “vibrant”. The votes for the word of the year were dispersed to say the least. But the students have concluded that “jumbled” is the best fit!