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'Goblin Mode' has been named as Oxford word of the year 2022

Ali Condon

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'Goblin Mode' has been named as Oxford word of the year 2022

We might as well stop 2022 here folks, as it's not going to get any better than this.

This year's Oxford word of the year has been chosen by the public for the first time ever, and I wouldn't be surprised if the vote was never made public ever again.

I say this because the official 2022 Oxford word of the year is: 'Goblin mode'.

I haven't seen a public vote go this well since Boaty McBoatface.

The Oxford word of the year is Goblin Mode. Yes, really. Credit: Godong / Alamy Stock Photo
The Oxford word of the year is Goblin Mode. Yes, really. Credit: Godong / Alamy Stock Photo

'Goblin mode' is a phrase that blew up on the internet this year and, according to Oxford, can be defined as: "a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations."

There's something so satisfying about imagining Oxford's top lexicographers trying to formulate an eloquent definition for a phrase as painfully online and feral as 'Goblin mode'.

Oxford University Press gave people three different words to choose from as 2022's word of the year, before 340,000 English speakers across the globe voted.

It was a strong victory for 'Goblin mode', earning 93 percent of the overall vote - that's 318,956 votes.

Julia Fox would be proud.

In second place was 'Metaverse', the virtual reality space that allows users to interact with each other in a computer-generated environment, earning 14,484 votes.

And in third place was the hashtag '#IStandWith' which became popular online this year among activists, for example, thousands of people took to social media this year to share that they were #standingwith Ukraine in their ongoing conflict with Russia. The hashtag earned just 8,639 votes.

Don't you just love a public vote? Credit: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy Stock Photo
Don't you just love a public vote? Credit: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy Stock Photo

A point worth noting in this absolutely insane story is that the only real word that was in the running for word of the year is Metaverse - since neither 'Goblin mode' nor '#IStandWith' are singular words, so much as phrases - and it didn't win.

I do love a public vote.

The good people at Oxford seem to have taken the whole thing in good spirits.

Casper Grathwohl, president of Oxford Languages commented: "We were hoping the public would enjoy being brought into the process, but this level of engagement with the campaign caught us totally by surprise.

"The strength of the response highlights how important our vocabulary is to understanding who we are and processing what's happening to the world around us.

"Given the year we've just experienced, 'goblin mode' resonates with all of us who are feeling a little overwhelmed at this point. It's a relief to acknowledge that we're not always the idealised, curated selves that we're encouraged to present on our Instagram and TikTok feeds."

Alternatively, Collins Dictionary has chosen 'Permacrisis' as their word of the year, which is defined as: "An extended period of instability and insecurity, especially one resulting from a series of catastrophic events."

Which, coincidentally, is what I'm about to have after finding out that the Oxford word of the year is 'Goblin mode.'

Featured Image Credit: Michael Heath / Alamy Khosrow Rajab Kordi / Alamy

Topics: Viral, Weird, News

Ali Condon
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