Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Top These Words

Who Knew, Did You?
That 2023 has 3 top words?

And they are all different
authentic, rizz and AI

Who selected the words?
Merriam-Webster, Inc.
Oxford University Press
Collins English Dictionary

Authentic was the top word of 2023 according to Merriam-Webster, America's oldest dictionary. The word is defined as for something we’re thinking about, writing about, aspiring to, and judging more than ever.

Merriam-Webster, Inc. is an American reference book publishing company well known for dictionaries. It is the oldest dictionary publisher in the U.S. founded in 1831 as G & C Merriam Co by George and Charles Merriam in Springfield, MA. 

In 1843, after the death of American lexicographer and textbook pioneer Noah Webster, the company bought the rights to An American Dictionary of the English Language from Webster's estate. All Merriam-Webster dictionaries trace their lineage to this source. In 1964, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., acquired Merriam-Webster, Inc., as a subsidiary. In 1982, the company adopted its current name, Merriam-Webster, Inc.

In selecting its top word of the year, Merriam-Webster stated that while authentic is clearly a desirable quality it is hard to define and subject to debate adding that the word's popularity, highly searched before 2023 increased as the line between real and fake became blurred.

A top word runner-up was deepfake used to describe videos and photos that are digitally changed with AI. Other runners up were implode, coronation and dystopian.

Last year, the top word was gaslighting a term to describe manipulating a person to cause them to question their sanity for one's own advantage

Coincidentally, gas light was the title of a 1938 play by Patrick Hamilton. In 1940, a UK film version was released and in 1944, a US film of the same name was released starring Ingrid Bergman and won two Academy Awards.

was the 2023 top word according to The Oxford University Press (OUP). This internet slang term for style, charm, attractiveness and the ability to attract a romantic or sexual partner. It's
 used extensively online on TikTok and has billions of views with hashtag rizz.

So, if you're good at chatting up or flirting with potential partners, you may already have rizz and not know it. It has ben used as a verb in expressions like to rizz up meaning to attract, seduce or chat up someone.

Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world, publishing in 70 languages and 190 countries. The first book was printed in Oxford in 1478 with the press officially granted the legal right to print books by a 1586 decree. It is the second oldest university press after Cambridge University Press founded in 1534.

The list was narrowed down in a public vote in late November, before Oxford lexicographers made the final decision. 

The other 3 top contenders were swiftie an enthusiastic fan of singer Taylor Swift), beige flag  (a character trait indicating a partner is boring or lacks originality) and situationship (a romantic or sexual relationship not considered formal or established). Still others in the running were parasocial, heat dome, de-influencing and prompt.

A short list of eight words selected by OUP language experts was put to a public vote in late November. That reduced the field to four, then experts made the final selection.These words may eventually be added to the dictionary after assessment of their longevity, frequency, and breadth of usage.

In 2022, the Oxford word of the year was goblin mode a slang term to describe self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly or greedy behavior. This term was popularized during and after the pandemic.

AI is the Collins Dictionary word of the year. The use of the word (strictly an initialism) has quadrupled over the past year. It's defined as an abbreviation for artificial intelligence: the modelling of human mental functions by computer programs.”

The Collins English Dictionary is a printed and online dictionary of English published by HarperCollins in Glasgow. The dictionary uses language research based on the Collins Corpus (an analytical database of English) which is continually updated and has over 4.5 billion words. The current edition published in August 2023 is the 14th. 

According to the publisher, AI was chosen as it has accelerated at such a fast pace and become the dominant conversation of 2023The annual word of the year is selected by lexicographers monitoring a range of sources, including social media. 

The word of the year reflects preoccupations of the time. In 2022, the word was permacrisis in reference to seemingly constant upheavals in British politics. in 2021, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) reached its peak. In 2020, it wasn't surprising that lockdown was word of the year.

Other 2023 contenders for Collins word of the year included — Bazball (aggressive style of cricket, Debanking (act of depriving someone of banking facilities), Greedflation (using high inflation as excuse to raise prices to increase corporate profits), Nepo baby (someone seen as benefitting  from nepotism from famous parents), deinfluencing (warning social media to avoid certain products or lifestyle choices), Ulez (acronym for ultra low-emission zone).

Maybe, these top words were not new to all, but rizz was new to me, and, how can an abbreviation even be considered as a word? Language is ever-evolving, but maybe not always for the better or perhaps I'm more a traditionalist in this area.


Pamela M. Steiner said...

Never heard of "Rizz", and I am not up with the times when it comes to many of the words considered above. Authentic is really the only word I've ever used...but not to an extreme. I think AI is influencing our civilization much more than we who have "real intelligence" (as opposed to "artificial") realize. We are becoming too easily deceived by that which is artificially created or enhanced. We truly need to be on guard and accept no substitutes for the things that really matter. Thank you for this enlightening expose' on the words that are buzzing around us these days!

Barbara Rogers said...

Excellent post to have the background of the words of the year's sources explained. I appreciate that. I also was waiting for the OUA one, and a bit miffed (there's a word out of use now!) that rizz and even swifty were considered. Obviously their audience choices are of another generation than myself. Can I be un-rizz?

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I had never even heard of Rizz. But I am cocooned in traditionalism, having only friends that are articulate, academic, some wordsmiths even - and I love it! I shall remain a champion of “proper” English forever!

Bijoux said...

I just saw this morning that Rizz was word of the year. I’ve never heard it or seen it online. Strange!

Marcia said...

Rizz? Never heard of this one but then I'm not on TikTok.

Marie Smith said...

Spending time with our grandchildren has exposed us to the latest words. Rizz is in their vocab. It won’t be in mine.

Anvilcloud said...

I looked up rizz yesterday. I think it's risible. And blogger spellcheck doesn't like it either. 😁

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Authentic surprised me. Rizz, as much as I view reels, shorts, I can't say I recall seeing the word. Being old like I am, rizz has little interest value for me. It sounds like it morphed out of Putting on the Ritz.

Deepfake, now there's a word I think is better than authentic.

Rita said...

Add me to the list of the uninformed. Never heard of rizz...or beige flag, situationship, parasocial, or goblin mode. But then I am not on social media at all. A mere blogger--lol!

MadSnapper said...

we watch The Voice, singing TV show and all the judges, on every show use the word authentic, over and over. Rizz i never heard and even though explained still have no clue what it means or why or how to use. it.. AI is the word I use in a lot of my posts because of Bing Image creator, the new love of my life.

photowannabe said...

I'm right there with you in being more traditional. Rizz is new to me too. Most of the words are not in my everyday vocabulary it seems.
I still use the words from the 50's..guess that dates me. HaHa.
Great post today.

Sandra said...

There are a few I was not aware of. But, then I have removed myself from social media anreven when I did participate I wasn't in the young crowd!

Terra said...

Rizz is a new word for me, let's see if I can work it into a conversation. Is it a shortened version of charisma?

My name is Erika. said...

I learned a few new words/phrases reading this. Thank you. AI seems to be a term that exploded into common use this past year.I think AI is a really good choice. Language is fun, isn't it? How it changes and can be added to it.

nick said...

I'd never heard of the word rizz until it was named as 2023 top word. I would predict that this time next year it'll have disappeared again, to be replaced by some equally unlikely word.

David said...

Hi Beatrice, You sure do a lot of research when you cover various topics. The English language continues to change with 'words' popping up and then falling out of favor. No surprise that 'swifty' was a contender given the number of Taylor Swift followers and her successes this past year, culminating in being named Time Magazine's "person of the year". I didn't know that Time magazine still existed... Authentic is a word I can appreciate and use. Like it or not, AI is here to stay...and perhaps rule our lives in the not too distant future. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

baili said...

wow what an interesting posting my friend !

Marriam Webster has been helping me long but i hardly knew about it so thanks for sharing what and how it does .

oh yes rizz is totally new term to me. other two are familiar specially AI word is used by my both elder sons though i have not encounter with facility until now

i agree language is ever evolving but just like you i find peace more in olden style for same reason that i can relate to it :)
hugs and blessings

Veronica Lee said...

Rizz is a new word for me.
Such an interesting post, Dorothy!

Hugs and blessings