- By Robbie GramerRobbie Gramer is a staff writer at Foreign Policy. He writes for The Cable, FP’s real-time take on all things, well, foreign policy. Before he joined FP in 2016, he used to think in a tank, managing the NATO portfolio at the Atlantic Council for three years. He’s a graduate of American University’s School of International Service, where he studied international relations and European affairs. He has lived in both Washington and Brussels, though he grew up in Idaho and Oregon, so he’s a West Coaster at heart. When he’s not busy reporting, he’s probably busy starting three new books before he has finished the last one or planning a trip to a national park he hasn’t visited yet.
Oxford Dictionaries annually picks a ‘word of the year’ to capture the cultural zeitgeist of the past twelve months. And on Wednesday, Oxford officially announced 2016’s prize goes to “post-truth,” which, for anyone following minor events like the U.S. presidential elections or the Brexit debacle, may not come as a surprise.
“Post-truth has gone from being a peripheral term to being a mainstay in political commentary,” Oxford wrote in a post announcing its decision. Oxford defines its newly-awarded word as one “‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Sound familiar?
But Foreign Policy thinks Oxford overlooked a few potential prize contenders. So we humbly put forward our own words that deserve honorary mention:
Duterte’d: verb. To turn down an invitation to meet after the meeting host insults you in a press conference.
Swatch: noun. A small sample of fabrics, or a 1980s wristwatch fad. Or, apparently to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, some unspecified territory in Syria. We would have said “swath.”
Sarcasm: noun. A Western imperialist rhetorical weapon meant to subvert and ultimately destroy glorious leader of the proletariats Kim Jong-un.
Water: noun. The Brazilian government’s official term for a sewage-like substance found off the shores of Olympic host cities.
Poodle: noun. The highest-ranked breed of dog in Thailand’s military.
Bigly: adjective. …We’re still not sure.
Blatter-ing: verb. The act of telling everyone how to fix a tarnished international institution…after tarnishing said institution.
Diego: verb. The act of single-handedly saving one’s species from extinction with a lot of, um, friends with benefits.
Czechia: noun. An instance in which one tries to make a catchy new phrase go viral, and it just really doesn’t work.
Mountain: noun. An extravagant gift, typically given by close friends on important birthdays or anniversaries.
Yelp: noun. An online platform for citizens to voice their thoughts on international diplomacy.
Africa: noun. A country, according to Britain’s foreign secretary Boris Johnson.
2016-ing: verb. To feel intense stress and helplessness as you watch everything inexplicably go horribly, horribly wrong around you.
Photo credit: FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images