Friday, November 9, 2018

Word Of The Year 2018

 The Collin’s dictionary has named its word for the year for 2018.

Are you excited.

We have a hyphen.

The word for the year is  ‘single-use.’

Indeed. They then go on to explain what it means.  It refers to an item  that is to be used once and then discarded. 

I hope you got that.
Seriously though. It’s a word I use a lot.  My licence  to practice acupuncture only allows me to have single-use disposable,  sterile needles  on the premises. I am not allowed to possess a steriliser as that would infer I was reusing needles. The council insist on seeing my sterilising unit for my local licence. The fact I use single use needles floats passed them. So medically, single–use is a thing to be applauded. A Good Thing as 1066 And All That would have it.


So why has it come into such common use?  A 400% increase in the last four years. Because  single-use items tend to be made of plastic and made to be thrown away. The world wide images of plastic floating on the sea, albatrosses being caught in plastic bags, the video of the octopus caught up in plastic rope  has alerted the public to the  ecological risk of our throwaway society. The European parliament is planning a 2021 ban on  straws, cotton buds,  bottles,  plates and cutlery. I hope the UK can join in with the spirit of that and it might be on the cards as there’s a tax on plastic  packaging being introduced here, as well as a tax on red meat. ( Don’t get me started on that one!! )

The word people ( lexiconographers ) monitor four and a half billion words to see what’s trending, what’s fallen out of favour and what new words have appeared.

2017’s word of the year was  “fake news”.  2016’s selection was Brexit. Do you think those two words could be related in any way?

2018 also saw plogging, flossing, gammon ( non pig variety), gaslight and of course, Me 2 (which in this case includes any  gender being nasty to any person of any  other gender).  

So plogging. I thought it might mean to run very, very slowly, as one might when recovering from an operation and just out for an initial wee…plog.  It’s a Scandanavian word that means to jog while picking up litter. Or vice versa. 

The word gammon’s new use seems to be insulting to those with porcine affections. The new meaning is a brexiteer, middle class, white, right winger type.  Whereas pigs are very intelligent, family orientated and one of the few animals that get sunburn in the same way we do.
                                                          More satire!

Gaslight means “to attempt to manipulate (a person) by continually presenting them with false information until they doubt their sanity”. That sounds like me meeting my accountant next week to discuss how variable my tax bill can be.

And  Me2 has already transcended its original hashtag social media status to become part of the language.

And floss, that is the dance.  Enjoy.

I am fully qualified to put your vertebrae back in the right order if you hurt yourself while practicing!
Good luck

Caro Ramsay   09 11 2018


  1. I've been flossing every day, obviously the wrong way. As for gaslighting, I thought that had been in common usage since the movie came out in 1944. But I guess it's fitting to elevate it to prominence again in light of (or make that its gaslight of) all the politicians doing that to their electorates.

  2. Oi, some days I just feel like plogging a dead gammon, but then I read MIE and the comments just make me want to say, "Me 2!" (Although, I sometimes feel the need of a flosslight when Jeff starts gassing use.)

  3. From Annamaria: wow, Caro, thank you. I would be totally clueless if you had not filled me in on the latest linguistic trends. Except for Me2 and single-use, that is. I pay careful attention to discussions of topics where those terms are relevant. Now I will go to YouTube and learn how to dance while flossing. (Dental floss is made of plastic, BTW! From now on I will feel environmentally virtuous when I neglect my teeth. :)