We’re 11 months into 2022 . . . but apparently Merriam-Webster has seen enough. (???)
Merriam-Webster just announced its Word of the Year for 2022, and it is . . . “gaslighting.” Of course, they’re NOT talking about the 19th century street lights, which would be random. It’s a reference to manipulation.
They say: “In this age of misinformation . . . ‘fake news,’ conspiracy theories, Twitter trolls, and deepfakes . . . gaslighting has emerged as a word for our time.”
It’s defined as “the act or practice of grossly misleading someone especially for one’s own advantage.” Or the psychological manipulation of a person . . . usually over an extended period of time . . . that causes them to question reality.
2022 saw a 1,740% increase in lookups for gaslighting.
“Gaslighting” was inspired by the 1944 movie “Gaslight” . . . and the play it’s based on . . . where a husband uses TRICKERY to convince his wife that she is mentally unwell so he can steal from her.
The nine runners-up are:
“Oligarch” . . . due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Omicron” . . . because of the persistent COVID-19 variant.
“Codify” . . . as in turning abortion rights into federal law.
“Queen consort” . . . what King Charles’ wife, Camilla, is now known as.
“Raid” . . . due to the search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.
“Sentient” . . . after an engineer freaked us out over an unreleased A.I. system.
“Cancel culture” . . . because, well, you know.
“LGBTQIA” . . . the abbreviation for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, plus asexual, aromantic or agender.”
“Loamy” . . . after it was brought into pop culture thanks to Wordle.