British dictionary publisher Collins has announced their 2017 “Word of the Year”: Fake News.
Claiming the term saw and “unprecedented” rise in usage over the past year, the term has also become synonymous with President Donald Trump, who has often utilized the phrase to criticize the media and journalists, especially on stories he perceives to be negative toward his administration.
Collins says the term has been in use for at least a decade, and defines “fake news” as “… false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting.” Collins stated the word had been ranked top in its annual assessment of the most used words in the English language, with an “unprecedented usage increase 365% since 2016.” Next year, the phrase will have its own entry in the dictionary.
President Trump recently claimed to have coined the phrase “fake news” as well. In an interview with Mike Huckabee, he stated that:
“One of the greatest of all [the] terms I’ve come up with is ‘fake.’ I guess other people have used it — the term ‘fake’ in conjunction with ‘media’ — perhaps over the years. But I’ve never noticed it. And it’s a shame. And they really hurt the country.”
Other words that were in competition for “Word of the Year” include “echo chamber,” “gender-fluid,” “gig economy” and “insta.”
You can see a sketch performed by The Free Association in partnership with Collins on “fake news” here.