Written by Amy Beecham
Other words of the year include “Kyiv”, “warm bank” and “splooting”.
To say that 2022 has been a rollercoaster would be a significant understatement. For most of us, the past 10 months have felt like the unfortunate combination of watching train wreck after train wreck, all while treading water as we try to keep our heads above the waves.
In other words: it’s been a lot.
From the war in Ukraine to political turmoil on home soil, the ever-rising cost of living and growing concerns about climate change, the news has fed into an endless cycle of disbelief, anxiety and rage. And the year’s not even over yet.
So it’s no wonder that Collins Dictionary has selected “permacrisis” as its word of the year for 2022.
The term describes “an extended period of instability and insecurity”. Collins says it is one of several words it has highlighted “that relate to ongoing crises the UK and the world have faced and continue to face, including political instability, the war in Ukraine, climate change, and the cost of living crisis”.
Sounds about right to us.
Other inclusions came in the form of “Kyiv”, the Ukrainian spelling of the country’s capital city; “partygate”, the political scandal over social gatherings held in British government offices during 2020 and 2021 in defiance of the public health restrictions that prevailed at the time; and “warm bank”, a heated building where people who cannot afford to heat their own homes may go.
“Quiet quitting”, aka “the act of doing one’s basic duties at work and no more, either by way of protest or to improve work-life balance” also made the list, as did “vibe shift”, defined as a significant change in a prevailing cultural atmosphere or trend.
The year has been a struggle, and the acknowledgement of that alone feels like the tiniest comfort. Let’s just hope the word for 2023 is something more positive.
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