As much as I’d like to be in denial and pretend otherwise, I can’t shake off the fact that 2017 is officially about to end, and the new year is literally just over a month away! And as the year draws to a close, people, companies, and publications everywhere take time to reflect on the year that was, gathering data and looking at trends that made 2017 what it was.
On a similar vein, Dictionary.com reflects on the words that impact all of us every year, and declares their annual word of the year as it “serves as a symbol of the year’s most meaningful events and lookup trends”. It’s based on a lot of factors including how often the word is searched on Google, how many stories and news pieces show up with the word featuring in them, the general theme that is established with relation to the word, and so on.
So, here it is: the official Word Of The Year 2017 - ‘Complicit’.
Complicit [kuh m-plis-it] means: choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act, especially with others.
It’s not very surprising to have ‘complicit’ become the theme for 2017, since this year has been one for people choosing to speak up against those in the wrong.
The first spike in the search results for the word cropped up after the Saturday Night Live episode where Scarlett Johansson played Ivanka Trump, endorsing a perfume titled ‘Complicit’, with the tagline - ‘the fragrance for the woman who can stop all this, but won’t.’
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The next major spike in the word search occurred just after Gayle King interviewed Ivanka Trump on CBS News, asking her about articles and parodies that have named her husband and her as complicit.
In response to the question, Ivanka said “If being complicit is wanting to be a force for good and to make a positive impact, then I’m complicit”, soon following it with “I don’t know what it means to be complicit but, you know, I hope time will prove that I have done a good job and much more importantly, that my father’s administration is the success that I know it will be.”
When the First Daughter of America makes a statement like that, you can definitely bet people are going to look up the word!
In a move that pretty much sealed the deal on the word of the year was when Jeff Flake, in his speech announcing the decision of retiring from the U.S Senate, harshly critiqued the Trump government saying, “I have children and grandchildren to answer to, and so, Mr. President, I will not be complicit”.
We think it’s safe to say that United States of America (being the superpower that it is) is what spearheaded the decision to make ‘Complicit’ the word of the year, but it definitely says a lot about the state of things in the world right now, where several influential leaders are in charge, with the power to make a difference, and yet they keep mum.
Let’s hope for a more positive Word of The Year 2018, shall we?