I’m a bit of a word nerd. I love this time of year when the Oxford English Dictionary comes out with the word of the year. I feel a bit hard done by this year because didn’t they only come out to say that 2020 has been such a humdinger of a year that they couldn’t come up with a word to describe it! Dictionary bods – I’m a bit disappointed in you. There is no word of the year 2020.
Some might say the word should have been ‘unprecedented’ because it was a year that was unprecedented and many folk on Twitter wished for a return to more precedented days!
Reflecting back on my own word usage this year, I would say that THEY has been the one I’ve most consciously used, for I have been quietly changing all the he’s and she’s to they’s in the web copy, ad copy, and social media captions wherever relevant and whenever I can. Because just because. We don’t need to denote a person’s sex by those words anymore. We can’t assume anything about their sex and how they perceive themselves. As an advertiser, do you want to alienate your audience through the simple use of an unthoughtfully selected pronoun?
They just works better.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m no activist. I just am a purist when it comes to language. I’ve been writing about this kind of thing on this blog since as far back as 2003. Check this out for a vintage post! And while I’m on that point, can I just say how much it bugs me the way Americans always seem to speak in the present tense when describing the past?
If you have any other language related bugs you’d like to share with me, hit me up on the comments and I’d love to know more.
What has been your word of the year 2020? Surely the dictionary people could have picked one! Maybe the real people can pick for them!
Pantone Colour Of The Year 2020
The colour people also couldn’t make up their minds! So they opted for two Pantone colours of the year 2020: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating. What’s your favourite?