“Metaverse” makes it to Oxford’s Word of The Year finals

The University Press has made open the voting process for the public's favourite word of the year.

Nov 28, 2022
by Michael
“Metaverse” makes it to Oxford’s Word of The Year finals
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Word of The Year Competition

The word “Metaverse” has been shortlisted for the Oxford Word of the year. This took place in a competition held by the Oxford University Press, the publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary. The term metaverse was coined by author Neil Stephenson in his science fiction novel Snow Crash. However, the concept didn't particularly take off until Facebook officially changed its name to Meta in October 2021. 

The Oxford University Press officially announced the launch of the Word of the Year competition on the 22nd of November, alongside the three finalists' words for 2022. This year also marks the first time in history that the Oxford University Press is allowing the public to choose the word which reflects 2022 best. The two other words in the competition are “#IStandWith” and “Goblin Mode.” These words were selected by running an analysis on a language data system. 

More Details on the Word of the Year Competition 

The University Press, in a released video, described the Metaverse as an immersive virtual reality environment where users can interact with each other’s avatars and surroundings. The global publishing giant also noted a four-fold rise in usage from October 2021 to October 2022. In addition, it was also stated that more lifestyle and work-related activities in the virtual reality environment might bring about more debates over the ethics and feasibility of an entirely online future. 

As for the other two finalist words, #IStandWith has become a phrase used for political activism, whereas “Goblin Mode” emerged as a post-Covid-19 concept referring to someone who rejects a return to normal and continues doing what they want. To officially vote for the "Metaverse,” or the two other candidates, voters must visit the Oxford Languages’ website and cast their votes there. Over 235,000 votes have been cast so far, with the voting set to close on the 2nd of December. 

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