Oxford Languages announced on December 4 that the viral term "goblin mode" had defeated "metaverse" and #IStandWith to become its 2022 word of the year. According to Oxford's research, the term metaverse has increased nearly fourfold from the previous year in the Oxford Corpus, partly due to Facebook's rebranding to Meta in October 2021.
Metaverse was defeated by goblin mode, which went viral in February and appeared to capture the prevailing mood of individuals who rejected the notion of returning to 'normal life following the lifting of COVID-19 lockdowns in many areas. #IStandWith finished third in the contest, fueled by social media hashtags such as #IStandWithUkraine in the aftermath of Russia's invasion of the country in February.
"As we come to grips with relatively new concepts like hybrid working in the virtual reality space, the metaverse is highly pertinent to debates about the ethics and feasibility of an entirely online future. We see the term becoming more popular as more people weigh in on its long-term viability and sustainability," Oxford Languages said.
Oxford stated in the video pitch for metaverse,' released in November that the term originated with "the science fiction novel Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson," published in 1992.
More than 300,000 people voted on the three terms chosen by Oxford Languages.
NFT or nonfungible token was chosen as the word of 2021 by Collins Dictionary, while "vax" was chosen as the word of the year by Oxford. The most recent results indicate a shift in social media enthusiasm for crypto-related terms, which was reportedly declining in the first quarter of 2022.
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