The Word of the Year: ‘Gaslighting’

Shame on you!

So ‘gaslighting’ is the word of the year… or is it?

Lookups for the word on merriam-webster.com increased 1,740% in 2022 over the year before. But something else happened. There wasn’t a single event that drove significant spikes in the curiosity, as it usually goes with the chosen word of the year.

The gaslighting was pervasive.

“It’s a word that has risen so quickly in the English language, and especially in the last four years, that it actually came as a surprise to me and to many of us,” said Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster’s editor at large, in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press ahead of Monday’s unveiling.

“It was a word looked up frequently every single day of the year,” he said.

Cannot imagine why.

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9 Responses to The Word of the Year: ‘Gaslighting’

  1. ali redford says:

    I saw that in my weekend M-W newsletter and smirked a bit. The WoY entry closes with this:
    “In recent years, with the vast increase in channels and technologies used to mislead, gaslighting has become the favored word for the perception of deception. This is why (trust us!) it has earned its place as our Word of the Year.”
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/word-of-the-year

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, the MAGAtariat and Qzoo have discovered the word, so now it means precisely…nothing.

    Just another word for ‘fake news’ screamed far and wide by delusional idiots while they’re gaslit by Fox, Youtube, and Mango Mussolini.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lofgren says:

      I’ve noticed this too. At this point any time you lie to somebody it’s apparently gaslighting. It’s lost the nuance that originally made it a useful term. I’ve even seen it applied to a difference of opinion.

      Liked by 4 people

      • w3ski4me says:

        I try hard at being introspective and was once accused of gaslighting when I disagreed with someone. I did try hard to look at that openly, even googling the meaning since I was ignorant of it. In the end, I had to figure they didn’t really know what it meant and were just using it to defend their position.
        w3ski

        Liked by 1 person

      • In the end, I had to figure they didn’t really know what it meant and were just using it to defend their position.

        Exactly. it’s just another insult they hurl to defend their beliefs; a sort of ‘cargo-cult’-ing of language. They know it’s supposed to be bad, and that’s good enough for them!

        Right up there with ‘woke’, ‘communist’, ‘marxist’ and the like.

        All just mean ‘someone I don’t agree with, and will insult with this here fancy word’.

        Liked by 4 people

      • ali redford says:

        Sort of the same way they use “groomer” without thinking even once about the trauma they visit on survivors of abuse who actually were groomed to accept harm.
        I wish they’d learn the word “love.” I guess I’d better be careful before I wish that…

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Oneofthebobs says:

    Sure, they look it up; but how do they know if it’s the real definition?

    Liked by 5 people

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