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Single-Use is Word of the Year

Single-Use is Word of the Year

November 9, 2018

The Collins Dictionary has named single-use as its Word of the Year for 2018.

Defining the term as “adjective; made to be used only once”, the choice highlights the planet’s increasing awareness of the danger posed by plastic pollution, and its incremental efforts to put a halt to the pandemic.

According to CNN, “while single-use may have once epitomised a carefree and convenient lifestyle, it has now come to represent society’s worst excesses.”

The Word of the Year campaign by Collins is the company’s attempt to “reflect ever-changing culture and the preoccupations of those who experience it.”

According the Collins’ lexicographers, the word single-use is “four times as common as it was in 2013,” with public awareness being raised by small efforts to fight plastic pollution – such as the introduction of a charge on single-use plastic bags, or an outright ban, in some countries – as well as major documentary strands like the BBC’s Blue Planet II.

Single-use’s predecessors as Word of the Year include 2014’s photobomb, 2015’s binge-watch, and, somewhat predictably, 2016’s Brexit.

Other contenders in 2018 included vegan, as the lifestyle and diet become more popular and prevalent around the world; VAR, a footballing acronym for Video Assistant Referee; and floss, a new dance craze popularised by the online game Fortnite.

Collins’ Helen Newstead, Head of Language Content, called 2018 “a year where awareness and often anger over a variety of issues has led to the rise of new words, and the revitalisation and adaptation of old ones. The words in this year’s list perhaps highlight a world at extremes – at one end, serious social and political concerns, and at the other, more light-hearted activities.”

 

Categories : Around the Industry

Tags : Collins Environment Plastic Plastic Waste Word of the Year

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