What’s the 2022 word of the year? It is... - GulfToday

What’s the 2022 word of the year? It is...

Birjees Hussain

She has more than 10 years of experience in writing articles on a range of topics including health, beauty, lifestyle, finance, management and Quality Management.

She has more than 10 years of experience in writing articles on a range of topics including health, beauty, lifestyle, finance, management and Quality Management.

Representational image.

Representational image.

I am so glad that we have finally put this pandemic behind us. Aside from seeing the odd mask here and there (mine included), things have returned to normal. But, as with most events, there is always a ripple effect that either slowly subsides or stays in some form or another.

For example, even though many companies across the globe are starting to ditch the work from home option, there are some that embrace it, realising that coming to the office is not necessarily required to get the work done. However, for the employee working from home can have its perks as well as its downside.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a lot of people are now in ‘Goblin Mode’ which is also the dictionary’s word of the year for 2022. What is Goblin Mode, you ask?

If you’re in your pajamas lying in bed all day, even when you’re working from home, I’m sorry to have to tell you that you’re in Goblin Mode. If your bedroom is strewn with leftover food wrappers and with crumbs all over your bed, I’m sorry to say, you’re in Goblin Mode. If you can’t be bothered to even try and differentiate between night and day by keeping your curtains drawn even when it’s daytime, I’m sorry to say you’re in Goblin Mode. Even if you go to the kitchen to make yourself a sandwich but you can’t be bothered to stay and eat it there and prefer to take it back to your bed, then I’m sorry to say you’re in Goblin Mode. This is a remnant of the lockdown effect that many people who work from home cannot shake off.

Now, for years social media has been teeming with hashtags. There was #notmypresident that was running when Donald Trump was POTUS. Then there was #MeToo after Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the US Supreme Court and #Brexit which is still a sore point for Britain is still very much an ongoing hashtag.

But one hashtag that has also been nominated word of the year is #IStandWith which obviously implies that you agree with and are on the same side as someone who has been wronged for doing or saying something that they felt was the right thing to do or say. You agree with them and want everyone to know you do by saying ‘I stand with’.

And for months now, every time we open our WhatsApp and Facebook Apps we are greeted with a new Meta logo. Meta is short for what I do not know. In fact, every time I see the logo on my device, for some reason, I’m reminded of the 1980s British comedy, ‘’Mind Your Language’ in which the teacher, Mr Brown, asked his students to write a sentence using a metaphor. One student got up and said something about how she rang her friend and met-her-for a drink. I don’t know about you but Meta, metaphor and met-her-for all sound so alike to me!

Anyway, Meta has now evolved into ‘metaverse’, another word that qualified for Oxford’s word of the year 2022. Or perhaps it’s the other way around and the word metaverse evolved into Facebook’s Meta. But what is the metaverse? Well imagine virtual reality using those VR headsets that make you feel like you’re there because what you see through the headset looks so real. You’re not there at all but your eyes and brain deceive you into thinking you are. Well this VR has evolved into a 3D metaverse that is totally internet based. You’re not there and never will be. Yet people are literally buying into it. They’re buying virtual property next to virtual images of real celebrities’ homes, they’re buying and trading in virtual currencies and creating VR celebrities that don’t exist except in the metaverse. In fact a form of the metaverse has been around for years. The gaming industry has based its entire business model on VR heroes fighting VR villains. The players know they’re not there because they can see that the characters they’re playing are CGIs but they immerse themselves in this 3D internet world anyway. Talk about mind games!

Speaking of mind games, the Merriam-Webster dictionary has chosen ‘gaslighting’ as its word of the year. This is also a hashtag on some social media platforms. What is gaslighting? It’s a psychological technique used to manipulate people into thinking that their thought process, long held belief systems and conclusions are all wrong. Or at the very least, it leaves people questioning their long held beliefs that are probably correct. Those who gaslight try to get people to come round to their way of thinking. The technique is used extensively in the political arena where voters may be manipulated into leaving their party for an opposing party or not being a party of anything at all because of the doubts that have been raised in their minds.

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