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Word of the year – Shanmugam IAS Academy
Word of the year


What’s in news?

            The Oxford Word of the Year 2019 is “climate emergency”.

Key data’s:

  • The Oxford Word of the Year is a word or expression shown through usage evidence to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year, and have lasting potential as a term of cultural significance.
  • A single word that encapsulates what you need more of, what you want to focus on, or what you need to improve on.
  • Analysis of language data collected in the Oxford Corpus shows the rapid rise of climate emergency from relative obscurity to becoming one of the most prominent, and prominently debated terms of 2019.
  • Usage of the phrase climate emergency increased steeply over the course of 2019, and by September it was more than 100 times as common as it had been the previous year.
  • Climate emergency is defined as ‘a situation in which urgent action is required to reduce or halt climate change and avoid potentially irreversible environmental damage resulting from it.’
  • A climate emergency declaration or climate emergency plan, declaring a state of climate emergency, has been issued since 2016 by certain countries and other jurisdictions to set priorities to mitigate climate change
  • The term “climate emergency” has been promoted by climate activists and pro-climate action politicians to add a sense of urgency for responding to a long-term problem.

Climate activist:

  • Still only 16 years old, Thunberg rose to prominence after she started spending her Fridays outside Sweden’s parliament in August 2018, holding a sign reading “School strike for climate”.
  • Climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has rallied millions to her “Fridays for Future” movement, was honoured at a Stockholm ceremony held by the Nordic Council, a regional body for inter-parliamentary cooperation.
  • Climate change needs to be a much bigger issue in everyday conversation
  • An ethical and moral response to this emergency would be based around the goal of maximum protection of human and non-human life.  Maximum protection would mean reversing global warming and creating a global cooling as soon as possible.
  • To create a global cooling, we need to;
    • reduce our emissions to as close to zero as possible in all sectors of our economy, including energy, agriculture, land use, and industrial process; and
    • draw down past emissions.

Data to know:

  • Word of the year was a German concept started in the year 1971.
  • Word of the Year for 2018 is “Justice
  • People’s word of the year 2018 is “Nomophobia”.


Links to note:

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