Dictionary.com has announced their word of the year, and it actually has a lot of meaning behind it.
Their decision was inspired by what people have been searching for throughout the year, and apparently internet users have had ‘identity’ on their minds in 2015.
CEO of Dictionary.com, Liz McMillan, said in a statement:
Our data indicated a growing interest in words related to identity, as people encountered new terms throughout the year based on events tied to gender, sexuality, race, and other key issues. Many words surrounding these topics trended or were newly added to our dictionary this year, making identity the clear front-runner as the Word of the Year.
According to Mashable the site saw a huge increase in searches for words like asexual, omnisexual, transgender and cisgender. It also added numerous new words relating to identity, including gender-fluid, microaggression and Mx. – a gender-neutral term which can be used instead of Ms. or Mr.
Users have become aware that identity can be a more fluid term than convention had them believe, McMillan said, adding that news stories – like Caitlyn Jenner – had opened their eyes to different possibilities.
Pop star Miley Cyrus described herself as sexually fluid earlier in the year, and an Amazon series about a transgender parent, Transparent, won several Emmys.
The U.S. military openly celebrated gay, lesbian and bisexual troops during Pentagon Pride Month, and Ash Carter, the Secretary of Defence, said the Pentagon would start looking into how to end the long-standing ban on transgender people in the military.
Last year’s winner was ‘exposure’, after the Ebola outbreak, thefts of passwords, bank details and photos made headlines.