The American Dialect Society (ADS) has succinctly summed up 2016 with its pick for word of the year — "dumpster fire."
The organization voted on Friday at its annual convention in Austin, Texas, for the term, which beat out others including "woke," "normalize," "post-truth" and "#NoDAPL."
"As a metaphor for a situation that is out of control or poorly handled, dumpster fire came into prominence in 2016, very frequently in the context of the U.S. presidential campaign," the organization wrote in a release.
ADS — which is made up of linguists, etymologists, historians, academics and writers — started the tradition of choosing words of the year in 1990.
“As 2016 unfolded, many people latched on to dumpster fire as a colorful, evocative expression to verbalize their feelings that the year was shaping up to be a catastrophic one,” said Ben Zimmer, chair of the society's New Words Committee, said in a release.
The term became so popular in 2016, that the AP Style Guide changed its rules to accommodate writers and editors wishing to use it.
— AP Stylebook (@APStylebook) July 19, 2016
Other picks for word of the year seemed to run in a similar vein.
Here is the full list of winners from ADS:
Word Of The Year:
dumpster fire: an exceedingly disastrous or chaotic situation.
Political Word Of The Year:
post-truth: belonging to a time in which facts matter less than beliefs and emotions.
Digital Word Of The Year:
@: (verb) reply on Twitter using the @ symbol.
Slang Word Of The Year:
woke: socially aware or enlightened.
Most Useful/Most Likely To Succeed:
gaslight: psychologically manipulate a person into questioning their own sanity.
laissez-fairydust: magical effect brought upon by laissez-faire economics.
Euphemism Of The Year:
locker-room banter: lewd, vulgar talk (used by Donald Trump to downplay a leaked Access Hollywood tape), euphemizing discourse about harassment of and aggression toward women.
WTF Word Of The Year:
bigly: in a significant manner (from widespread mishearing of Trump’s use of big-league).
Hashtag Of The Year:
#NoDAPL: protest against construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Emoji Of The Year:
🔥 fire (“lit,” exciting); also used in 🗑 🔥: dumpster fire
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