'Goblin mode' could become the word of the year

'Goblin mode' could become the word of the year
The most mispronounced words

What word best sums up the mood of our post-pandemic, economically ravaged 2022?

It could be "goblin mode".

The word, which is slang for behaviour that is "unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations", has been shortlisted for word of the year by Oxford University Press lexicographers.

And the word, alongwith #IStandWith (used to express solidarity online) and metaverse (thanks Mark Zuckerberg) is on a shortlist which will be voted for by the public for the first time.

President of Oxford Languages Casper Grathwohl told the Guardian: "Over the past year the world reopened, and it is in that spirit we’re opening up the selection process for the word of the year to language-lovers everywhere.

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"We are all participants in the evolving story of English, and after making it through another hard year we thought word-lovers would appreciate being brought into the process with us."

Some words that didn’t make the final shortlist were "quiet quitting" and "platty jubes". The winner will replace 2021's word of the year which was "vax" - for obvious Covid reasons.

Meanwhile, Oxford University Press is not the only publisher reflecting on the language that has been used today. Dictionary publisher HarperCollins tracked the use of new words online and in print media to find their top 10 new words of the year.

They included "splooting", which is when a dog or cat lies flat on its stomach with its hind legs stretched out behind it, and "partygate" - say no more.

As for the Oxford competition, voting is now open online and closes 2 December, with the 2022 word of the year announced three days later.

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