Announced on 16 November 2016 by the Oxford Dictionary as its international “Word of the Year”, “post-truth” is defined as an adjective “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”.
The past 12 months have been filled with events that have influenced the decision, with the U.K. and the U.S.’s votes alone leaving the world rocked by the outcomes. As a result, the use of the “post-truth” expression increased some 2,000 percent in 2016, compared with the previous year, the publisher revealed.
Following the announcement, Casper Grathwohl, the president of Oxford Dictionaries, said it wasn’t surprising that “post-truth” was selected to define 2016, considering it was a year “dominated by highly-charged political and social discourse”.
“Fuelled by the rise of social media as a news source and a growing distrust of facts offered up by the establishment, post-truth as a concept has been finding its linguistic footing for some time,” Grathwohl said in a statement.
“We first saw the frequency really spike this year in June with buzz over the Brexit vote and again in July when Donald Trump secured the Republican presidential nomination.”