British dictionary chooses 'Lockdown' as word of the year

People stand by their windows and applause in solidarity with healthcare workers on the frontline of the coronavirus outbreak in Paris in March

The year 2020 saw the novel coronavirus driving the world towards a flurry of changes.

Its usage rose sharply throughout the pandemic.

And quite expectantly, lockdown has been chosen as the word of the year by Collins Dictionary.

Coronavirus, key workers, self isolate, social distancing and furlough also feature in the top 10 as reminders of the pandemic.

It takes a lot to unite the world in terms of what concerns people, and one thing that can be said for Covid-19 is that it has affected most of the planet - which is reflected in how we use language.

She states a huge database of speech comprising some 13 billion phrases was used along with a board to help whittle down a review.

Ten words made it to the shortlist for word of the year, the majority of which are related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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For it's victor though, it describes lockdown as "the imposition of stringent restrictions on travel, social interaction, and access to public spaces".

Collins monitors its 13-billion-word corpus and creates an annual list of new and notable words that reflect the ever-evolving English language and the preoccupations of those who use it.

A wave of Black Lives Matter protests, sparked by the death in USA police custody of unarmed black man George Floyd, spread around the world and brought a new awareness of the movement.

Following the loss of life of the unarmed black man George Floyd within the U.S., the abbreviation "BLM" for the Black Lives Matter motion, options having registered a 581% improvement in utilization, based on Collins. It describes someone who shares content on the platform TikTok.

"With many countries entering a second lockdown, it is not a word of the year to celebrate but it is, perhaps, one that sums up the year for most of the world".

The report added that Collins had zeroed upon "climate strike" as the Word of the Year last year, in which 17-year-old Greta Thunberg was seen leading a global environmental movement.

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