English is changing all the time as new words fall in and out of fashion, and the latest in vogue phrase is ‘climate strike’, according to language experts.
Lexicographers at the Collins Dictionary picked the term as word of the year for 2019 after millions of people joined climate protests around the world, propelling usage of the term into media headlines.
Climate strike first came to prominence four years ago, say the experts, but has surged in popularity by 100 times in the past year as the level of climate protests have grown over the past year.
The lexicographers decided climate strike was the word of the year for 2019 after trawling through thousands of web sites, newspapers, social media, magazines and eavesdropping everyday conversations.
“They detected an uptick in words linked to both environmental and digital derangement – as well as ones linked to fighting back. From the word of the year itself, climate strike, which embodies a positive response to a grave crisis, to hopepunk, an upbeat genre of storytelling, it seems that there’s cause for optimism in dark times,” said author David Shariatmadari in a blog on the Collins web site.
Another new term recognised by the dictionary is ‘non-binary’, which is how people of no specific gender refer to themselves instead of he or she.
The other contenders for word of the year 2019
Also on the word of the year 2019 list are:
Doubledown – a Blackjack term for increasing a bet after a player looks at the cards dealt to them, which has expanded to describe someone reaffirming their commitment to a potentially risky course of action.
Deepfake – editing a video almost barely detectably to depict the subject speaking or acting in a way that never happened
Hopepunk – a genre of writing that shows a triumph over dark forces seemingly against all the odds. TV drama Dr Who is often cited as a hopepunk drama.
Influencer – a social media celebrity who urges followers to share information online which is often a brand, product or service sponsored by a business.
Rewilding – A term that’s been around since 1933, but has seen a recent re-emergence. Rewilding is the process of introducing endangered species back to the wild by conservationists.