Two weeks ago, Dictionary.com announced that its Word of the Year was complicit. Today another dictionary, Merriam-Webster, announced its Word of the Year: feminism.
As with complicit, the selection of feminism was based on the number of people who looked up the word on the dictionary’s website. There was a 70% increase in 2017 vs. 2016. Much of the interest spiked during the massive women’s demonstrations in January. Another spike occurred in February when Kellyanne Conway, advisor to the President, explained why she doesn’t like the word. And as allegations of sexual misconduct have surged in the last few months, so has interest in the word feminism.
A cynic might say the dictionary websites have figured out a way to generate publicity for themselves while at the same time commenting on some of the most hotly discussed issues in our society … in which case, some might say I’m complicit.