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What’s The Word Of The Year For 2017?

President Donald Trump reacts to the song as he arrives at a rally at the Pho...

Photo by Alex Brandon / Associated Press

Above: President Donald Trump reacts to the song as he arrives at a rally at the Phoenix Convention Center, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, in Phoenix.

'Fake News' Tops 2017 Word Of The Year List

GUEST:

Grant Barrett, co-host, "A Way With Words"

Transcript

The year 2016 may have been a "dumpster fire," but last year was the year of "fake news."

The American Dialect Society held its annual Word of the Year contest Friday night, and "fake news" was named the word or phrase that best represented the public discourse of 2017. The phrase had been nominated for the 2016 contest, back when it primarily meant misinformation that was spread online.

“When President Trump latched on to fake news early in 2017, he often used it as a rhetorical bludgeon to disparage any news report that he happened to disagree with,” said Ben Zimmer, chair of the American Dialect Society’s New Words Committee. “Trump’s version of fake news became a catchphrase among the president’s supporters, seeking to expose biases in mainstream media...but it also developed more ironic uses, and it spread to speakers of all ages as a sarcastic putdown.”

Other Trump-related words on the list were the euphemism of the year, "alternative facts," made popular by Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway after the White House pushed back against reports on the crowd size at Trump's inauguration, and "covfefe," a likely Trump typo that was named WTF Word of the Year.

Grant Barrett, co-host of "A Way With Words" and vice president of the American Dialect Society, presided over the voting this year and joined KPBS Midday Edition with more of the year's winners.

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