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‘Fake news’ becomes very real

News paper revealing the use of fake news

Collins coins ‘fake news’ the word of the year.

2017 has been the year that ‘fake news’ entered the public consciousness. As a result, the go-to phrase of the current US President has been named the Collins word of the year.

The compilers of the dictionary have given it this title because of the words “ubiquitous presence” over the last 12 months. In fact, usage of the term has increased by 365% since 2016.

According to Collins, ‘fake news’ was coined on US television in the noughties to describe false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting. This is contradictory to President Trump’s recent claims that he invented the expression.

Another politically-focused word that received a worthy mention from Collins was Corbynmania – referring to the hype around UK Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn. Usage of this word was up 310% this year compared to last year.

“Much of this year’s list is definitely politically charged, but with a new president in the US and a snap election in the UK, it is perhaps no surprise that politics continues to electrify the language,” said Collins’s Head of Language Content, Helen Newstead.

The full list:

Fake news

noun: false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting

Antifa

noun: (1) an antifascist organisation (2) a member of an antifascist organisation adjective: (3) involving, belonging to, or relating to an antifascist organisation

Corbynmania

noun: fervent enthusiasm for Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the UK Labour Party

Cuffing season

noun: the period of autumn and winter, when single people are considered likely to seek settled relationships rather than engage in casual affairs

Echo chamber

noun: 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

Fidget spinner

noun: a small toy comprising two or three prongs arranged around a central bearing, designed to be spun by the fingers as means of improving concentration or relieving stress

Gender-fluid

adjective: not identifying exclusively with one gender rather than another

Gig economy

noun: an economy in which there are few permanent employees and most jobs are assigned to temporary or freelance workers

Insta

adjective: of or relating to the photo-sharing application Instagram

Unicorn

noun: (1) an imaginary creature depicted as a white horse with one long spiralled horn growing from its forehead, regarded as a symbol of innocence and purity (2) a recently launched business enterprise that is valued at more than US$1bn

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