Dictionary publisher Collins has named one of president Donald Trump’s favorite phrases, “fake news”, as ‘word of the year’.
The UK-based Collins Dictionary announced “fake news” as the winner saying the term saw an “unprecedented” rise with its usage increasing 365 percent since 2016.
“During the 2016 US presidential campaign pundits noted the large number of websites broadcasting false stories about the candidates under the guise of news.
“Then in January 2017 Donald Trump dismissed reports from the CNN news agency about his alleged links with Russia as ‘fake news’. Claims that potentially damaging stories were ‘fake news’, and enquiries into the proliferation of such stories were a major part of the news agenda in 2017,” the dictionary publisher noted.
Collins defined “fake news” as meaning “false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting” saying the word had come top of its annual assessment of the most used words in the English language and will now have its own entry in next year’s dictionary.
The term has become synonymous with Trump who has used the phrase repeatedly to criticize the media mostly via his now infamous Twitter rants.
The Fake News is working overtime. As Paul Manaforts lawyer said, there was "no collusion" and events mentioned took place long before he…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2017
Helen Newstead, the head of language content at Collins, said the winning word was “definitely politically charged”.
She said: “‘Fake news’, either as a statement of fact or as an accusation, has been inescapable this year, contributing to the undermining of society’s trust in news reporting: given the term’s ubiquity and its regular usage by President Trump, it is clear that Collins’ Word of the Year ‘fake news’ is very real news.”
Trump, in a recent interview, had claimed that he coined the phrase saying: “I guess other people have used it (the term ‘fake’ in conjunction with ‘media’) perhaps over the years, but I’ve never noticed it. And it’s a shame. And they really hurt the country.”
Having published dictionaries since 1819, Collins debunked the claims on Thursday saying the association of “fake” with “news” started out in the field of comedy, as exemplified by shows such as Jon Stewart’s ‘The Daily Show’ and Chris Morris’s ‘The Day Today’.
Other shortlisted words in 2017
“Unicorn”: An imaginary creature depicted as a white horse with one long spiralled horn growing from its forehead, regarded as symbol of innocence and purity. A recently launched business enterprise that is valued at more than $1 billion.
“Echo chamber”: An environment, especially on a social media site, in which any statement of opinion is likely to be greeted with approval because it will only be read or heard by people who hold similar views
“Gig economy”: An economy in which there are few permanent employees and most jobs are assigned to temporary or freelance workers.
“Cuffing season”: The period of autumn and winter, when single people are considered likely to seek settled relationships rather than engage in casual affairs.
“Insta”: Of or relating to the photo-sharing application Instagram
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