The choice reflects months of high-stakes threats and crises, real and pondered, across the news, the world and throughout 2019.
“In our data, it speaks to this sense of grappling with our survival, both literally and figuratively, that defined so much of the discourse,” said John Kelly, senior research editor for the site, ahead of Monday’s announcement.
The word earned top of mind awareness in sustained searches at
The soiled utensil is convinced his destiny is in the trash, until he embraces his purpose as a treasured toy of kindergartener Bonnie.
“Forky underscores how this sense of grappling can also inspire us to ask big questions about who we are, about our purpose,” Kelly told The Associated Press.
Oxford Dictionaries picked “climate emergency” as its word of the year, noting usage evidence that reflects the “ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year,” the company said in a statement.
Among search spikes for “existential” were those that occurred after both Democratic presidential contender
Another spike occurred when former Vice President
The word dates to 1685, deriving from Late Latin’s “existentialis.”
Climate, guns and the impeachment crisis for President
“We started to see existential in the dialogue beginning in January and all the way through the year,” said
As for Forky, his journey from disposable utensil to handmade toy points to the concept of “agency,” Kelly said, referring to the power to direct our own existences. That, he said, affords us the “opportunity to turn existential threats into existential choices.”