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'Goblin Mode' Is Oxford English Dictionary's Word Of The Year: Reflection Of Life In A Post-Pandemic World?

Last week, Merriam Webster, the oldest dictionary publisher in the world chose their world of the year and it was Gaslighting.

And this week, Oxford English dictionary's word of the year has been declared and it is - Goblin Mode. Yep, goblin mode - and no, it has nothing to do with the proud snobbish Goblins from Harry Potter universe.

The term, which refers to "a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, usually in a way that rejects social norms or expectations", is the first word of the year to have been chosen by the general public.

"Given the year we've just experienced, 'goblin mode' resonates with all of us who are feeling a little overwhelmed at this point," Oxford Languages president Casper Grathwohl says.

It has been decided that the word of the year 2022 fits well within the context of the sad fast that this year was, a year of burnout, pandemic-trodden, cost-of-living distressed people. While the phrase "goblin mode" originated on Twitter in 2009, it was a viral tweet posted by user @JUNIPER in 2022 that sparked its popularity this year.

Here is some pop-culture drama - Following the break-up of Kanye West (now, Ye, sigh) and Julia Fox, @JUNIPER tweeted a doctored headline claiming they ended their relationship because West did not like how she behaved.

It is important to note that ABC News highlights that the story is false, but that did not stop it from spreading on social media until Fox put a stop to it on her Instagram Stories, saying: "Just for the record. I have never used the term 'goblin mode'."

Oxford Dictionary has added some levity to its Word of the Year history with "vax" (short for vaccination) taking top honors in 2021, "climate emergency" in 2019 and "toxic" in 2018. Oxford declared 2020 as an "unprecedented" year, and no single word was chosen.

While Casper Grathwohl, the president of Oxford Languages, and his colleagues had hoped that the public would enjoy being involved, the level of engagement had taken them by surprise".

"Given the year we've just experienced, 'goblin mode' resonates with all of us who are feeling a little overwhelmed at this point", he added. "It's a relief to acknowledge that we're not always the idealised, curated selves that we're encouraged to present on our Instagram and TikTok feeds. This has been demonstrated by the dramatic rise of platforms like BeReal where users share images of their unedited selves, often capturing self-indulgent moments in goblin mode."

In second place was "Metaverse", followed by "#IStandWith". Goblin mode won by a landslide, receiving 318,956 votes, representing 93% of all votes cast.

Story first published: Wednesday, December 7, 2022, 19:25 [IST]
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