The compilers of the dictionary draw a parallel with the present.
The compilers of the American dictionary Merriam Webster named the main word of 2022 – “gaslighting”.
“In this age of misinformation – ‘fake’ news, conspiracy theories, Twitter trolls and deepfakes – ‘gaslighting’ has become the word for our time,” the dictionary’s editors note, reports the press service of Merriam Webster.
It is noted that when the word “gaslighting” was first used in the mid-20th century, it referred to a type of hoax similar to that shown in the film. The word “gaslighting” comes from the title of the 1938 play, as well as the film based on the play. According to the plot, a husband tries to make his wife believe that she is crazy. Every time he goes to the attic, the lights in the house dim, but he insists that it’s his wife who can’t trust her own perception.
The compilers of the dictionary draw a parallel with the real one, noting that in 2022 there was an increase in the number of searches for gas lighting by 1740%.
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines “gaslighting” as psychological manipulation of a person over a long period of time, which makes the “victim” doubt the veracity of their thoughts and beliefs, perception of reality or memories. All this leads to confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, as well as emotional uncertainty.
At the same time, the compilers of the dictionary note that in recent years the meaning of gaslighting has acquired a simpler and broader meaning – it is the action or practice of grossly misleading someone, in particular for one’s own benefit.
“When used in this way, the word fits well with other terms associated with modern forms of deception and manipulation, such as fake news, deepfake, and artificial intelligence.” emphasized in the press service of Merriam Webster.
We will remind you that according to the English dictionary, the main word for 2022 is “permacrisis”, however, the name of the capital of Ukraine was included in the shortlist.
And the word 2021 according to the version of Merriam Webster was the word “vaccine”.