Did Greta Thunberg inspire 2019's word of the year?

Collins Dictionary has revealed the most searched words of 2019
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Did Greta Thunberg inspire 2019's word of the year?

UK-based Collins Dictionary has declared “climate strike” as its word, or in this case, words of the year.

Referencing Greta Thunberg’s rise to fame, the website attributes her global initiative that encourages school children to strike in protest of the climate emergency as the main reason for the increase in searches for the term climate strike.

And although searches for it have “increased 100-fold” between 2018 and 2019, Collins says the phrase first entered the lexicon in 2015.

“These are strange, anxiety-inducing times – but there are reasons to be cheerful,” the dictionary group shared on its website. 

“Collins’ lexicographers have detected an uptick in words linked to both environmental and digital derangement – as well as ones linked to fighting back,” it added.

After climate strike, Collins has decreed “deep fake”, “hopepunk”, “influencer”, and “rewildling” as the other most searched for words of the year.

While influencer might need no further explanation, deep fake refers to videos that have been created using AI to seamlessly blend several videos together to create fake narratives.

Hopepunk was coined in 2017 by author Alexandra Rowland as the antithesis to “grimdark”, in sci-fi writing, and is used to describe the kind of fiction that champions good always trumping bad.

And rewilding, Collins says, refers to the concept of reintroducing wildlife into areas where climate change, urban sprawl or intense agriculture have disrupted the natural order.

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