Dictionaries pick COVID-related terms as top words of the year

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With several countries facing life in a pandemic, it’s no surprise that lexiconographers from two of the world’s leading institutions have chosen COVID-related words to sum up 2020.

Last week, Great Britain Collins English Dictionary named “lockdown” as the word of the year.

According to Collins, the word registered more than a quarter of a million uses in 2020, compared to just 4,000 the year before.

“With many countries entering a second lockdown, it is not a word of the year to celebrate, but it may well be one that sums up the year for most of the world,” said Helen Newstead, Collins’ language content consultant. The Guardian.

Collins’s shortlist included pandemic-related words such as ‘coronavirus’, ‘key worker’, ‘leave’ and ‘social distancing’.

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On Tuesdays, the Australian National Dictionary Center announced ‘iso’, an Aussie abbreviation for ‘self-isolation’, as the word of the year for the country.

“Our penchant for abbreviating words in Australia, and a natural human tendency to make the unknown and scary familiar, caused the descriptive term ‘self-isolation’ to be shortened to iso in March of this year,” said Mark Gwynn, saying. Australian National Dictionary Center. senior researcher.

The word is “linguistically productive” when combined with other words such as iso-baking and iso-cut, Gwynn said.

The other coronavirus-related words that were shortlisted were ‘bubble’ and ‘covid-normal’.