How ‘Dumpster Fire’ Became 2016’s Word of the Year

Think 2016 was a 🗑🔥? The nation’s top linguists agree. The American Dialect Society just named “dumpster fire”—and the two emoji that represent it—its Word of the Year. Why? Because, it says, the phrase best represents “the public discourse and preoccupations” of 2016.

The society of linguists, grammarians, and wordy scholars has awarded the prize each year since 1990, back when “bushlips,” defined as “insincere political rhetoric,” won Word of the Year and “politically correct” won Most Outrageous. This year, after an initial deliberation by the society’s New Words Committee, more than 300 members of the Linguistic Society of America voted at a standing-room-only reception during the society’s annual conference. The entire slate had a political bent, but “dumpster fire” ultimately triumphed over “woke,” “normalize,” “post-truth,” “#NoDAPL,” and—in distant sixth place, sans dumpster—”🔥.”

Read more: Wired

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