Complicit is named Word of the Year 2017
We’re not quite at the end of 2017 just yet, but that hasn’t stopped Dictionary.com selecting its Word of the Year – “complicit.”
As in previous years, the site selects its Word of the Year as “a symbol of the year’s most meaningful events and lookup trends,” meaning it doesn’t need to be a new word to take the title. It chose complicit because of the rising tension surrounding President Trump, Russia’s alleged involvement in election hacking and Ivanka Trump’s comments around her husband Jared Kushner being “complicit” in her father’s dealings.
Dictionary.com also tracks search terms for words to see if there are any trends. The first spike in searches for complicit was seen on 12 March, with a 10,000% increase, following a parody Saturday Night Live sketch featuring Scarlett Johansson playing Ivanka Trump and was for a perfume called Complicit marketed as: “The fragrance for the woman who could stop all this, but won’t.”
A month later, on 5 April, searches increased by more than 11,000% following an interview with Ivanka Trump in which she responded to accusations about her husband Jared Kushner’s relationship with her father with: “If being complicit is wanting to be a force for good and to make a positive impact, then I’m complicit.” Then, on 24 October Arizona Senator Jeff Flake announced his retirement saying: “I have children and grandchildren to answer to, and so, Mr. President, I will not be complicit.”
“We chose our Word of the Year, in part, because of noteworthy stories of those who have refused to be complicit. In the face of oppression and wrongdoing, this refusal to be complicit has been a grounding force of 2017,” explained Dictionary.com. This includes the five million people who took part in the worldwide Women’s March on 21 January, Colin Kaepernick’s 2016 protest and the rising number of reports around sexual harrassment
“Our choice for Word of the Year is as much about what is visible as it is about what is not. It’s a word that reminds us that even inaction is a type of action. The silent acceptance of wrongdoing is how we’ve gotten to this point. We must not let this continue to be the norm. If we do, then we are all complicit,” added Dictionary.com