Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year Is “Gaslighting”

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.

(Merriam-Webster / CNN)