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'Toxic' declared Oxford Word of the Year

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November 15, 2018 19:32


Oxford Dictionary has declared the adjective 'toxic' as the Word of the Year for what it says reflects the ethos, mood, or preoccupations in 2018. 
 
The Oxford Word of the Year is a word or expression that is judged to have lasting potential as a term of cultural significance, Oxford English Dictionary said in a statement.
The word toxic was selected from a shortlist that included contenders such as 'gaslighting,' 'incel' and 'techlash.'
The data shows that, after 'chemical', 'masculinity' is the most-used word in conjunction with toxic this year.
"With the #MeToo movement putting a spotlight on toxic masculinity, and watershed political events like the Brett Kavanaugh Senate judiciary committee hearing sparking international debate, the term toxic masculinity has well and truly taken root in the public consciousness and got people talking in 2018," the statement said.
 
The adjective toxic is defined as 'poisonous' and first appeared in English in the mid-seventeenth century from the medieval Latin toxicus, meaning 'poisoned' or 'imbued with poison'.
In 2018, toxic added became a descriptor for the year's most talked about topics. 
It is the sheer scope of its application, as found by our research, that made toxic the stand-out choice for the Word of the Year title, according to Oxford.
The data shows that, along with a 45 per cent rise in the number of times it has been looked up on oxforddictionaries.com, over the last year the word toxic has been used in an array of contexts, both in its literal and more metaphorical senses.
Words like 'environment', 'relationship' and 'culture' were habitually used alongside toxic. -- PTI

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