In Brief

‘Fake news’ named Word of the Year

Trump’s catchphrase beats ‘Corbynmania’ and ‘gig economy’ in Collins Dictionary’s shortlist

“Fake news” has been named by Collins Dictionary as its Word of the Year for 2017 and will be added to the next printed edition.

The phrase has seen a 365% rise in usage in the past year - principally due to its frequent usage by US President Donald Trump, The Guardian reports.

Collins defines “fake news” as “false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting”. The phrase has been used repeatedly by Trump when referring to some of the major US news networks, including - and most notably - CNN and NBC.

The shortlist for the “award” contained a number of political phrases and words that have cropped up over the past year, including “antifa” - an abbreviation of “anti-fascist” - and “echo chamber”, which refers to “those who share their opinions in environments, especially social media, where the only people who hear or read their views will be of a similar disposition”, reports Irish broadcaster RTE.

“Corbynmania” also made the shortlist, marking the surging popularity of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. “Fidget spinner”, a toy that has exploded in popularity with children worldwide over the past 12 months, also appeared.

Helen Newstead, head of language content for Collins, said: “Much of this year’s list is definitely politically charged, but with a new president in the US and a snap election in the UK, it is perhaps no surprise that politics continues to electrify the language.”

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