The word of the year has been announced by Dictionary.com. ‘Complicit’ wins over words like ‘intersex’, ‘horologist’ and ‘totality’ which saw spikes in searches this year, but the dictionary website says searches for ‘complicit’ increased nearly 300%. And why would it not be? The controversies over sexual harassment, terror attacks, mass shooting has led to the rise of ‘complicit’.
“This year a conversation that keeps on surfacing is what exactly it means to be complicit,” lexicographer Jane Solomon told The Hill. Solomon said several events had contributed to interest in the word. Three major incidents led to the hike of usage of complicit. The first of three major spikes for the word struck on 12 March, the day after Saturday Night Live aired a sketch starring Scarlett Johansson as Ivanka Trump in a glittery gold dress peddling a fragrance called “Complicit”
The bump was followed by another on 5 April also related to Ivanka, Solomon said. “I don’t know what it means to be complicit.” It was unclear if Ivanka was deflecting or whether the economics graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business really didn’t know.
Another major spike occurred on 24 October, the day the Arizona Republican Jeff Flake announced from the Senate floor that he would not seek re-election, harshly criticized Donald Trump and urged other members of the party not to stand silently with the president.
Last year, dictionary.com's word of the year was ‘xenophobia’. We wonder which is worse, the steadily growing racism and ‘xenophobia’ in the world or ‘complicity’ of terror attacks and mass shootings.