Yep. This humble compound adjective is the Oxford Dictionaries Word of 2016 – ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’.
The very embodiment of the past 11 months, the word obsessives of the dictionary group have noted the term’s meteoric rise in 2016, moving from a peripheral academic term to gain repeated use throughout the media, most often in discussion of ‘post-truth politics’.
“The term has moved from being relatively new to being widely understood in the course of a year - demonstrating its impact on the national and international consciousness,” writes the Oxford Dictionaries post. “The concept of post-truth has been simmering for the past decade, but Oxford shows the word spiking in frequency this year in the context of the Brexit referendum in the UK and the presidential election in the US, and becoming associated overwhelmingly with a particular noun, in the phrase post-truth politics.”
The term saw off competition from the likes of ‘hygge’, ‘adulting’, ‘Brexiteer’, and ‘chatbot’ to claim the prize which was won by the somewhat ridiculous ‘cry-laugh’ emoji.
‘Post-truth’ came into prominence during the weeks surrounding the UK’s vote to leave the European Union in June; the pro-leave campaign was highlighted for using a number of inaccurate ‘facts’ to promote the benefits of leaving the EU, including the notable instance of promising to fund the NHS with £350 million a week.
Here’s hoping 2017 gets a considerably more upbeat winner. ‘Post-post-truth’?
[Via: Oxford Dictionaries]