Toxic and algae recognized for Oxford Word of the Year

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Blue-green algae build up in a SWFL canal. Photo via WINK News.
Blue-green algae build up in a SWFL canal. Photo via WINK News. reported its data showed toxic had a 45-percent rise in number of times it was searched on the dictionaries’ website.

The Oxford Word of the Year 2018 is toxic.

Oxford chose toxic as its word of the year because it best reflected “the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year, and [had] lasting potential as a term of cultural significance.”

The dictionary website also drew up a list of top 10 collocates — words habitually used alongside toxic. One of the collocates people in Southwest Florida might have guessed on the list is algae.

“Such pollutants are not only dangerous to our health, but to the health of our environment, and one of the many environmental issues discussed this year has been the toxic algae disaster in Florida, US. Thanks to a central role in the state’s Senate mid-terms race, toxic algae garnered so much commentary that ‘algae’ featured as the ninth-most frequently seen toxic collocate for 2018,” as detailed on the website.

The full list included chemical, masculinity, substance, gas, environment, relationship, culture, waste, algae and air. All were sourced from the Oxford corpus.

The adjective toxic is defined as ‘poisonous’ and first appeared in English in the mid-seventeenth century from the medieval Latin toxicus, meaning ‘poisoned’ or ‘imbued with poison.’

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