'Situationship', 'De-influencing' among contenders for Oxford Word of the Year 2023. Know what they mean
Among the standout contenders is 'situationship,' a term capturing the nuances of modern romance.
Oxford University Press has unveiled a shortlist of eight words for the prestigious Word of the Year title. The selection is based on a comprehensive analysis of a vast 22-billion-word corpus of language data, reflecting the societal shifts and trends that have characterized the year 2023.
Among the standout contenders is 'situationship,' a term capturing the nuances of modern romance. Coined to describe a romantic or sexual relationship that exists without formal commitment, the word reflects the changing dynamics of contemporary connections.
Another intriguing entry is 'beige flag,' a noun that denotes a character trait suggesting a partner's lack of originality or a certain level of dullness. It encapsulates the idea of traits that are neither distinctly positive nor negative but are defining nonetheless.
The term 'de-influencing' has also made its mark on the shortlist, representing the act of discouraging people from purchasing specific products or promoting reduced consumption, particularly through the influential realm of social media.
'Swiftie,' a word that has become synonymous with the fervent fans of pop sensation Taylor Swift, has found its place on the shortlist. The term reflects the dedicated and enthusiastic following that has grown around certain celebrities in the digital age.
The list also includes 'heat dome,' describing a persistent high-pressure weather system that traps hot air, emphasizing the growing impact of climate-related terms on our daily discourse.
The adjective 'parasocial' highlights the one-sided intimacy experienced by fans towards media celebrities, particularly in the era of social media, where followers may feel a false sense of friendship with their idols.
A more tech-centric entry is 'prompt,' denoting an instruction given to artificial intelligence programs or algorithms that influence the content they generate, underlining the increasing role of AI in our lives.
Lastly, 'rizz' brings a touch of style and charm to the shortlist, representing the ability to attract romantic or sexual partners.
The goal is to narrow down the field to four finalists before the ultimate Word of the Year is unveiled by Oxford's language experts. The voting mechanism involves head-to-head matchups where the public can cast their votes for their favourite word in each pairing.
“Vote for your favorite word in each head-to-head below to help us choose the four finalists before the final word is revealed by our language experts. Voting will run until Thursday, 30th November!” Oxford University Press says on its languages website.