Permacrisis is the word of 2022 by Collins Dictionary


As a reflection of the European scenario, the Collins dictionary chose “permacrisis” as the word of 2022. The term describes the feeling of living in a prolonged period of instability and insecurity, explains the publisher.

“Permacrisis succinctly sums up how horrible the year was for a lot of people,” said Alex Beecroft, managing director of Collins Learning, shortly after the selection was announced Tuesday. The word was first used in academia in the 1970s, but has proliferated in citations in recent months.

It could be: with a war between Russia and Ukraine in the vicinity, with developments that generate high prices and arouse dissatisfaction, in addition to the climate emergency and political chaos in many of its nations, Europe has plunged into successive crises since the beginning of the year.

The scene in the UK, where Collins is published, was similarly hectic. With the cost of living rising and inflation the highest in four decades, the country has seen two leaders fall: Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned in July, and his successor, Liz Truss, did the same in October after 44 days in office. .

“Permacrisis: a term that perfectly embodies the feeling of moving from one unprecedented event to another, as we bleakly wonder what new horrors may be just around the corner,” defines a post on Collins’ blog.

The dictionary’s list of the year also included other terms that dialogue with major geopolitical events, such as Kyiv — a transliterated form of the name of Ukraine’s capital from the Ukrainian language, as opposed to Kiev, the standard transliteration of the Russian language.

“Sportswashing” was also mentioned. The term defines the practice of a government with a dubious reputation to organize global sporting events to put sensitive issues in the background, as is the case in Qatar, host of the Cup and accused of human rights violations.

As a bitter homage to Boris, “partygate” also made the list. The term was coined to describe the parties held in Downing Street, the seat of the British government, during the period of lockdown to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. The case was the trigger for the downfall of the conservative politician.

In 2020, the first year of the pandemic, Collins defined “lockdown” as the word of the year. Last year, the chosen one was NFT, an acronym for “non-fungible token”, a digital certificate of authenticity.

The word of the year comes from the Collins Corpus database, which gathers more than 18 billion words, but also includes the review of newspapers and social platforms by the responsible team to identify possible new terms, explained Helen Newstead, content consultant. from the Collins Dictionary, to the American newspaper The Washington Post.

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