The Oxford Languages 2020 Word of the Year campaign looks a little different this time around. This year has seen so many seismic events that Oxford Dictionaries has expanded its word of the year to encompass several “Words of an Unprecedented Year.”
Its words are chosen to reflect 2020’s “ethos, mood, or preoccupations.” They include brushfire, COVID-19, WFH (work from home), lockdown, circuit breaker, support bubble, key worker, furlough, Black Lives Matter, and moonshot.
“I’ve never witnessed a year in language like the one we’ve just had,” said Casper Grathwohl, president of Oxford Dictionaries. “The Oxford team was identifying hundreds of significant new words and usages as the year unfolded, dozens of which would have been a slam dunk for Word of the Year at any other time.”
“It’s both unprecedented and a little ironic—in a year that left us speechless—that 2020 has been filled with new words unlike any other,” Grathwohl said.
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