The country might not be able to agree on a lot of things as of late, but one thing that’s true, regardless of your respected parties, is that this year has been a drawn-out nightmare. Some might even categorize it as… surreal.
Funny enough, that’s exactly what Merriam-Webster revealed its word of the year to be. The dictionary company made the announcement today on its website, explaining that it was looked up more this year than last. I think we all know why, but Merriam-Webster’s editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski gave more background on the choice, stating the following:
In March, the word was used in coverage of the Brussels terror attacks. Then, in July, we saw the word spike again. It was used in descriptions of the coup attempt in Turkey and in coverage of another terrorist attack. this time in Nice. Finally, we saw the largest spike in lookups for surreal following the U.S. election in November.
The formal definition of the word is “marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream” and often used in moments of tragedy and surprise. Seriously, we couldn’t have picked a more fitting word if we tried.
Some other notable runner-ups were: revenant, icon, deplorable, feckless, and irregardless. Now, can someone wake us up from the shit show that was 2016 or is this still happening?