In the 2015 Oxford dictionary, there were over 300 new words added that did not make it into last years dictionary. Some of the new words include autotune, Blu-ray, boiler room, carnap, Christianist, comedogenic, crowdfunding, declutter, e-cigarette, ecotown, eliminationism, freegan, half-ass, hardship, hardware woman, Homo economicus, hot mess, hyperlocal, kryptonite, photobomber, retweet, sexting, shizzle, tea partier, tenderpreneur, twerking, and voluntourism. In August, they updated their online edition to include awesomesauce, onboarding, MacGyver, mkay, hangry, and wine o’clock.
I draw attention to these words in particular because each of them seems to have indelibly changed our culture, and yet there was a time in very recent history that they did not exist at all.
The year before that, the same phenomenon occurred, and so it has been each and every year as the collective human mind expands, and more words are added to the English lexicon in order to more fully explain the human experience. It’s an important thing to understand as we move forward to a life managed better than the limited understanding to which we currently cling. It offers us hope by which we needn’t worry so much about the “ism” that will define the behavior that will bring about the change we are seeking.
Whatever “ism” we are waiting for has most likely not been invented yet and is merely awaiting our activity to bring it definition. How would your perfect “ism” operate? If you could add a word to the English language to change the culture, what would it be?