If you search online for 2021’s word of the year, you will find not one but several.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise there was no consensus in the choice of just one word – not with today’s proliferation of confirmation bias-driven research challenging the diminishing vox populi on essentially every topic out there.
So what words did “Big Dictionary” choose to best represent 2021? Merriam Webster went with “vaccine,” its most searched word of the year, while Oxford chose the more hip, shortened version, “vax.” Speaking of hip, Collins may have gone overboard with the selection of “NFT,” the abbreviation for “non-fungible token.” Actually, this was a good choice as you immediately want to know Collins’ definition for NFT – “the unique digital identifier that records ownership of a digital asset.” An added benefit of this choice is that it lets people know “fungible” is actually a word.
Cambridge went with “perseverance,” which it defines as “a continued effort to do or achieve something, even when this is difficult or takes a long time.”
For an example of the word in use, Cambridge offers the following: “It took a lot of patience and perseverance for all sides to reach an agreement.” Another example: “Over and over, they have shown perseverance in the face of adversity.”
You can see how this was a reasonable choice. A good deal of perseverance was required in 2021 as we continued to be vexed by COVID-19 and its vile variants. Perseverance also helped us through the pandemonium that came packaged under two terms many of us were introduced to in 2021: “heat dome” and “atmospheric river.”
Perseverance is certainly a good candidate for word of the year in British Columbia. It’s more positive than “catastrophic,” which could easily be a runner-up.
“Resilience” has also been popular, though it may be due for the jargon scrap-heap of 2021, along with “pivot,” “cohort,” “silo” (as in being isolated), “new normal,” “woke” (sorry Premier Horgan) and “anti-vaxxer” which has become more of an umbrella term used to dismiss and divide – part of the new normal that we need to pivot away from or risk being stuck in silos of un-woke cohorts.