Following Brexit and Trump Victories, Oxford Dictionaries Declare ‘Post-Truth’ the Word of 2016

truthOxford Dictionaries declared “post-truth” to be the word of 2016, following the contentious Brexit referendum and U.S. election campaigns, in which “objective facts [were] less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief,” they wrote in a blog post.

Although the concept of “post-truth” has been around since the 90s, Oxford writes that the word’s use spiked in popularity this year, specifically in the context of “post-truth politics,” where fact-checking campaigns’ claims seemed to carry little weight with the electorates in the U.S. and U.K.

The word was apparently first used in a 1992 essay by Steve Tesich writing in The Nation, who said in the context of the Iran-Contra scandal and the first Gulf War, that “we, as a free people, have freely decided that we want to live in some post-truth world.” 

It beat out other 2016 expressions like glass cliff, adulting, chatbot, woke, alt-right and coulrophobia (fear of clowns).

[illustration via shutterstock]

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