Collins Dictionary named "single-use" as their 2018 word of the year and now Oxford Dictionaries' has dubbed "toxic" as theirs. They report that the word was looked up 45% more times on their site over the last year, having "been used in an array of contexts, both in its literal and more metaphorical senses."
Drawn from our corpus, the top 10 toxic collocates for the year – that is, words habitually used alongside toxic – are indicative of this.
Top 10 ‘toxic’ collocates in 2018
by absolute frequency
"Toxic" beat out the Oxford's shortlist of "Big Dick Energy (BDE)," "Cakeism," "Gammon," "Gaslighting," "Incel," "Orbiting," "Overtourism," and "Techlash."
photos by Shalaco ("clear San Francisco" was taken last week and "toxic San Francisco" was taken this week -- Ouch!)
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Glasgow-based Collins Dictionary has chosen their 2018 Word of the Year: single-use. The adjective meaning "made to be used once only" beat out the abbreviation VAR ("video assistant referee"), floss (the dance, not the dental product), gammon (a white, angry male who supports Brexit), and plogging (a Swedish activity that involves jogging and picking up litter).
Selected as the #CollinsWOTY 2018, single-use encompasses a global movement to kick our addiction to disposable products. From plastic bags, bottles and straws to washable nappies, we have become more conscious of how our habits and behaviours can impact the environment...
Our records show a four-fold increase in usage of this word since 2013, with news stories and the likes of the BBC’s Blue Planet II raising public awareness of this environmental issue.
"Single-use" also beat out other words on this year's shortlist: whitewash, vegan, MeToo, and backstop.
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