Metaverse comes in second place for Oxford’s word of the year
The term describes an internet-enabled virtual world lost in ‘goblin mode’ in 2022: “a type of behavior that is uncompromisingly smug, lazy, carefree, or greedy. The Oxford University Press team chose ‘Metaverse’ as the Runner-up for “Troll Mode” for word of the year in 2022. In a Dec. 4 announcement, Oxford Languages said the viral term “troll mode” had supplanted “metaverse” and millions of other words in the word of the team of from 2022. According to Oxford research, use of the term metaverse has “nearly quadrupled in the Oxford Corpus compared to last year,” due in part to Facebook’s rebranding to meta in October 2021.
Metaverse lost first place to “goblin mode,” a phrase that went viral in February and “captured the prevailing sentiment of people dismissing the idea of a return to ‘normal life’” following the COVID lockdowns many areas had been repealed. #IStandWith took third place in the competition, fueled by hashtags on social media, including #IStandWithUkraine, following the Russian invasion of the country in February.
“As we grapple with relatively new concepts such as hybrid work in virtual reality, the metaverse is particularly relevant to debates about the ethics and feasibility of an all-online future,” said Oxford Languages. ‘Metaverse’ gained prominence among crypto communities and publications. We’re seeing the use of the term continue to grow as more voices join the debate on sustainability and its future viability.
Releasing the “Metaverse” video released in November, Oxford said the term came from “Neil Stephenson’s science fiction novel Snow Crash,” published in 1992. More than 300,000 people cast their votes, which led to the selection of “Goblin Mode” for the first palace and Metaverse for the second. “NFT” or “non-expendable token” won the Collins dictionary competition for Word of the Year 2021, while “vax” took first place at Oxford that same year. The results represent a change in social media buzz around cryptocurrency-related terms, which has reportedly waned in Q1 2022.