2020… what a year. Where do we even begin? And how do we sum it up in just one word? Well, a survey has been done and – spoiler alert – the word for 2020 isn’t the sweetest word in the English language. But it’s very apt.
If you’re sensitive to expletives, you should maybe look away now.
The Guardian recently asked its readers what they thought was a word that summed up the year, and they did not hold back.
With 6,185 responses, the top word to describe 2020 is “shit”, followed by “fucked” and “exhausting”, which indeed all sound rather accurate and relatable to me… how about you?
Are you also showcasing delightful dark bags under your eyes and wishing you could travel to another time or is that just me?
Here’s the 2020 hotlist in a thought bubble
As you can see from the juxtaposition of this colourful bubble, the top 100 words were not the joyous nouns and adjectives that would usually be thrown around at Christmas and New Year.
Instead, there’s a whole lotta words you wouldn’t want your child repeating at school.
Personal favourites are ‘clusterfuck‘, ‘tragic‘, ‘discombobulated’ and ‘corrupt‘. There are a couple of more positives in there too, if you look very carefully you will find ‘peaceful‘, ‘reflective‘ and ‘enlightening‘.
New Zealanders choose ‘Doomscrolling‘ as their word for 2020, which is the act of scrolling through a feed to read items about tragic or disastrous events.
Doomscrolling is often addictive and can cause increased anxiety and depression. Very relatable.
The same could probably be said for ‘Doomswatching‘, based on the top 10 in Australia list on Netflix the majority of the year.
It’s not all bad news though, with the respondents also answering with their words for 2021, where optimism is high.
The top words as it stands are ‘better’ and ‘hopeful’. This we can definitely raise a glass to this Christmas time.
The survey got me thinking about my word of 2020.
The first word that came to my head was ‘shitshow‘ – which obviously needs absolutely no explanation whatsoever. Then, I thought of the dreary word ‘unprecedented‘, which I actually had to ban myself from writing at one point earlier in the year because it was so painfully overused and just because the whole situation has not been experienced in our lifetimes before did not mean everyone had to be reminded of the fact 120,000 times a day!
I then moved on to ‘gratitude‘ because as much of a shitshow 2020 has been, I am beyond grateful that I have a cosy home, food on my table and my health still in tact. Which, unfortunately, isn’t the case for much of humanity right now.
Then, I finally settled on my word for 2020; ‘Pivotal‘. I’ve chosen pivotal because I truly believe this global pandemic really could be ‘of crucial importance in relation to the development or success of something else‘. The exact definition of the word.
If we look in between the BS, this year has brought out both the best and worst in people, but let’s focus on the best. People have supported and cared for one another, taken time off (whether it was forced or not) to reconnect with what really is important in their lives and have seen how quickly our Earth can heal when we’re not constantly taking from her.
I feel like this catastrophic event, could be the start of a new age; one where we all remember what we’re really here for.
I believe this is a pivotal time; one for humanity to step into a world full of love over fear. Where people live a life of non-material riches and travel for connection and a deeper sense of exploration.
But hey, generally speaking, 2020 was still ‘shit’.
What is your word and why for 2020?
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