Hyderabad: The Oxford dictionary has declared ‘Climate Emergency’ as the word of the year for 2019. The definitive record of the English language (referring to Oxford) found a 100-fold increase in the usage of the word. “This represents a new trend in the use of the word emergency,” Oxford said.

According to the graph put up by the Oxford English Corpus, for 2018, the frequency per billion words for ‘Climate Emergency’ was observed to be less than 1,000. However, in June-July, 2019, it spiked to 5,300. The highest was found in September, with the usage showing a 100-fold increase. As a result, Oxford announced ‘Climate Emergency’ as the word of the year.

In an official statement, they said, “‘Climate Emergency’ has been central to 2019 overall, and features in several prominent phrases. However, ‘Climate Emergency’ stands out for several reasons.”

It was observed that in 2018, ‘climate’ did not feature in some of the top words. Besides, ‘emergency’ saw seldom occurrence. However, in 2019, the combination of ‘climate’ and ‘emergency’ saw a phenomenal increase. “‘Climate emergency’ surpassed all other types of emergencies to become the most written about by a considerable margin. It was even used with over three times the usage frequency of health, the second-ranking word,” they said.

Taking a look at the equivalent data

Oxford found that for climate collocations – such as ‘climate crisis’ and ‘climate action’ (both are included in word of the Year 2019 shortlist) – ‘climate emergency’ is still the popular one. “As recorded in our corpus, it (climate emergency) exceeded more moderate or speculative pairings like ‘climate variability’ and ‘climate prediction’,” the officials added.

This data put out by Oxford is significant because it indicates a growing shift in people’s language choice in 2019.

What is the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year?

According to the iconic dictionary, the ‘Oxford Word of the Year’ is an expression that shows usage evidence to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year.

Coreena Suares

Coreena Enet Suares is the Editor of NewsMeter. Her stories have been published in the Deccan Chronicle Newspaper and the Asian Age. Coreena began her career as a News Anchor. Throughout her journey, she has been able to build a strong network with people from all walks of life. She is an alumnus of Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists- Research and Investigation, a flagship initiative of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) Coreena is also a certified fact-checker by Google India Initiative. She has attended the 'Defence Correspondents Course 2019, through which she visited Indo- Pak border, besides traveling on a War-ship and insight into operations of Fighter aircraft. Coreena's focus areas are anti-crime investigation agencies and Defence reporting.

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