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The Word Of 2019 – Which Has Seen A Four-Fold Increase Since 2013 – Has Been Revealed

Reflecting on the quickening pace of time is most certainly a sign of getting old, but in less than two months 2019 will be over, resplendent with midnight kisses and ill-sought pyrotechnics.

It’s hard to sum up a year in a few words, never mind one term.

However, that’s what the Collins Dictionary does every year and you’ll hardly be surprised by this year's winner; Climate Strike. 

The dictionary defined Climate Strike as:

“A form of protest in which people absent themselves from education or work in order to join demonstrations demanding action to counter climate change.”

According to the announcement, the word has seen a four-fold increase since 2013.

It's almost impossible to separate the phrase with one Greta Thunberg, the Swedish environmentalist whose #FridaysForFuture movement prompted thousands of schoolchildren around the world to go on strike protesting the lack of action to combat climate change.

The phrase was first registered in November 2015 after the first event to be so named took place to coincide with the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.

But, thanks to Thunberg, the movement has since escalated.

Speaking to the Independent about this year's winning word, language content consultant at Collins Helen Newstead said, “‘Climate strikes’ can often divide opinion, but they have been inescapable this last year and have even driven a former word of the year.”

She added this in reference to "single-use", which was named Collins's word of 2018 thanks to its usage regarding disposable plastics like water bottles, which are often used once and thrown away.

As of Friday, the Oxford Dictionaries has named the term “climate emergency” as its word of the year 2019.

The phrase is defined by Oxford as “a situation in which urgent action is required to reduce or halt climate change and avoid potentially irreversible environmental damage resulting from it” – and its usage is up 10,796% on 2018 as we become more aware of the impact we are having on the planet.

As well as the general word of the year list, Collins Dictionary has unsurprisingly also posted a special Brexit lexicon (Brexicon) list.

This year, 'milkshake' made it onto the list... for obvious reasons. 

Several other prominent words – such as influencer, rewilding, cancel, non-binary, and hopepunk – also made this year's shortlist.

Main image by @tommy.dorfman

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