‘Microaggression’, ‘identity’ and ‘binge-watch’ are some of the top words of 2015 named by various dictionaries and language monitoring groups with the list also including the suffix ‘ism’ and an emoji.
Collins Dictionary was the first to announce its word of the year when on November 5, 2015 it named ‘binge-watch’, which means to watch a large number of television programmes (especially all the shows from one series) in succession.
A few days later on November 17, Oxford Dictionaries announces the emoji, commonly known as ‘Face with Tears of Joy’, as its word of 2015. Instead of choosing a traditional word, Oxford Dictionaries selected a pictograph to reflect the sharp increase in popularity of emoji across the world last year.
On December 8, encapsulating the most robust fields of language evolution and user interest in 2015, Dictionary.com named ‘identity’ as its top word.
For the first time, Merriam-Webster named on December 15 the suffix ‘ism’ as its 2015 word of the year, reflecting the fact that many of its highest ranking words in the year had one thing in common: they ended in -ism.
Then on December 28, Global Language Monitor (GLM) announced that its top word was ‘microaggression’, an academic term related to the ‘white privilege’ movement that has moved into widespread circulation over the last generation.
Collins chose ‘binge-watch’ over words like ‘Dadbod’, ‘Shaming’, ‘Corbynomics’, ‘Clean eating’, ‘Ghosting’, ‘Swipe’, ‘Contactless’, ‘Manspreading’ and ‘Transgender’. The usage of ‘binge-watch’ was up 200 per cent on 2014.
Every year, the Oxford Dictionaries team reviews candidates for word of the year and then debates their merits, eventually choosing one that captures the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year.