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'Single-use' is Collins' word of the year for 2018

The Collins dictionary has adopted an environmentally conscious approach to its "Word of the Year" award, be...

Posted: Nov 6, 2018 11:05 PM

The Collins dictionary has adopted an environmentally conscious approach to its "Word of the Year" award, bestowing 2018's accolade on the term "single-use."

As the world becomes increasingly aware of the damage caused by plastic waste, more and more people are turning their backs on disposable packaging, bringing the term single-use -- or made to be used once only -- into common parlance.

While single-use may have once epitomized a carefree and convenient lifestyle, it has now come to represent society's worst excesses.

Images of plastic adrift in the ocean, causing the suffering and death of marine animals, have led to a global campaign to reduce its use.

Lexicographers for Collins create an annual list of new and notable words that reflect ever-changing culture and the preoccupations of those who experience it.

Their research has found that "single-use" is now four times as common as it was in 2013, with news stories and images such as those seen in the BBC's Blue Planet II heightening public awareness of the issue.

Since the award's inception, these timely terms have been singled out for special recognition: geek (2013), photobomb (2014), binge-watch (2015), Brexit (2016) and fake news (2017).

Green issues feature elsewhere on this year's long list, with "plogging" also emerging as a popular conversational term.

The Scandinavian fitness craze combines jogging with a good deed -- picking up litter. First noted in 2016, according to Collins, the fad has now spread around the world.

The list also includes "vegan" as the popularity of choosing not to eat or use animal-based products has gone from strength to strength in Britain -- where the dictionary is published -- and beyond.

#MeToo, the global campaign against predatory sexual behavior, also features. The Collins database shows the term transcended its original status as a social-media hashtag to become part of language, as seen in phrases such as "the MeToo era" and "MeToo moment."

Similarly, "gaslight" -- meaning to manipulate others, often romantic partners, by leading them to question their sanity -- has seen a 20-fold increase over the past five years.

Protests about the casting of white actors as characters from minority ethnic groups has led to the inclusion of "whitewash."

On a lighter note, the 2018 soccer FIFA World Cup scored an entry for the acronym "VAR," meaning video assistant referee, technology that was widely used and often controversial in the tournament.

Meanwhile a tournament of a different kind -- the blockbuster online video game Fortnite -- has led to the inclusion of "floss," a victory dance performed by the winning gamer's avatar.

A huge playground craze in 2018, it has also been widely attempted by sport, music and TV stars.

Helen Newstead, head of language content at Collins, described 2018 as "a year where awareness and often anger over a variety of issues has led to the rise of new words and the revitalization and adaptation of old ones."

"The words in this year's list perhaps highlight a world at extremes -- at one end, serious social and political concerns, and at the other, more light-hearted activities."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 256827

Reported Deaths: 5638
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17257180
Hinds16331322
Harrison13567194
Rankin10804212
Jackson10453184
Lee8864141
Madison8314164
Jones6434112
Forrest6009120
Lauderdale5902186
Lowndes5405116
Lafayette499193
Lamar488565
Washington4803124
Bolivar3997109
Oktibbeha395381
Panola372379
Pontotoc367853
Monroe3558105
Warren354898
Union345960
Marshall344066
Neshoba3396152
Pearl River3301100
Leflore3041107
Lincoln298085
Sunflower286671
Hancock274459
Tate273162
Alcorn265453
Itawamba263759
Pike263778
Scott248046
Yazoo247056
Prentiss246552
Tippah243050
Copiah242749
Coahoma241054
Simpson236467
Leake231765
Grenada219471
Covington214672
Marion213073
Adams207070
Wayne202932
Winston201666
George199839
Attala194259
Newton193444
Tishomingo189361
Chickasaw185044
Jasper172736
Holmes168767
Clay159833
Stone144721
Tallahatchie141934
Clarke139862
Calhoun136521
Smith121424
Yalobusha117834
Walthall112336
Noxubee110822
Greene110429
Montgomery109834
Carroll104821
Lawrence102917
Perry102631
Amite98426
Webster92824
Tunica87321
Claiborne86625
Jefferson Davis85326
Humphreys83124
Benton82023
Kemper77620
Quitman6968
Franklin66715
Choctaw60913
Wilkinson58725
Jefferson54919
Sharkey43117
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 426543

Reported Deaths: 6126
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62752920
Mobile30551554
Madison27303186
Tuscaloosa20835267
Montgomery19192305
Shelby18693114
Baldwin16513183
Lee12603101
Morgan12321113
Etowah11805168
Calhoun11206200
Marshall10236107
Houston8681148
Cullman8094105
Limestone807474
Elmore7923101
DeKalb771597
Lauderdale763183
St. Clair7599120
Talladega6224108
Walker5930174
Jackson583741
Colbert535473
Blount532083
Autauga522755
Coffee446256
Dale399781
Franklin368148
Chilton337865
Russell335910
Covington330168
Escambia321342
Dallas305196
Chambers288669
Clarke283133
Tallapoosa2630107
Pike251329
Marion247350
Lawrence245247
Winston229035
Bibb217047
Geneva203335
Marengo200829
Pickens196931
Hale177442
Barbour173836
Fayette171226
Butler170758
Cherokee160930
Henry155021
Monroe147317
Randolph141535
Washington138326
Clay127045
Crenshaw120244
Cleburne118423
Lamar118419
Macon116835
Lowndes111535
Wilcox103621
Bullock99728
Perry98219
Conecuh95120
Sumter89526
Greene76223
Coosa60515
Choctaw51524
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