Collins Dictionary has named "single-use" its word of the year for 2018.
Arguably, it's not the most well-known dictionary. It doesn't have the same clout as the Oxford English Dictionary, which has the power to make "wine o'clock" a new word. Nor does it have the hipness of the Scrabble Dictionary, which can add words like "hashtag" or "selfie" so word geeks don't into get feuds over a board game. Collins did, however, capture the attention of NPR, which reports the dictionary is all about the word "single-use" this year.
Collins explains why it chose the term as word of the year:
Selected as the #CollinsWOTY 2018, single-use encompasses a global movement to kick our addiction to disposable products. From plastic bags, bottles and straws to washable nappies, we have become more conscious of how our habits and behaviours can impact the environment.
We'd like to think we here at MNN can take some of the credit. Collins says use of the term has increased fourfold since 2013, but we've been talking about issues with single-use items for the 10 years we've been around. We've brought attention to the problems with single-use products hundreds of times, educating people about the problems that come with a throwaway culture.
Recently, we've reported extensively on the banning of single-use plastic straws around the world, but as far back as 2009, we were talking about the issues with single-use coffee pods and plastic produce bags.
Other contenders for word of the year
We can't take credit for some of the runners up for the word of the year, though. (Nor would we necessarily want to.) Here are a few of them.
Floss: We're not talking about dental floss here. This is a dance move, created by a YouTube star known as "Backpack Kid." In 2017, Katie Perry invited him onto "Saturday Night Live" to join her as she sang, and soon everyone was flossing like the kid in the video above. Collins Dictionary says it's also a popular move by the characters in the video game "Fortnite."
VAR: This stands for "video assistant referee," and it's exactly what it sounds like. After a referee has made a call in a football game (that's British football, which is American soccer), a VAR reviews the video to confirm the call. They were used in the FIFA World Cup for the first time this year.
Plogging: Lifestyle blogger Matt Hickman wrote about the plogging craze earlier this year. As he explains it, the word is "is a portmanteau of jogging and plocka upp, Swedish for 'to pick up.'" People who plog carry a trash bag with them as they jog and pick up trash as they go along.