Dictionary.com reminded that the language is always changing, evolving, and adapting to the needs of its users. In 2017, the brightest example of the using an English word is “complicit”. Thanks to Ivanka Trump, that word was named the word of the year, in a sign of the term’s rising popularity under the Trump administration.
What does mean a word “complicit”? According to the Dictionary.com, it means “choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act, especially with others,” or “having partnership or involvement in wrongdoing”. During this year, ‘complicit’ was the most-searched terms, the Dictionary.com noted in a blog post.
Language changes for many reasons, which reflect the needs of its speakers change. Another reason is the appearing in the daily life the new technologies, new products, and new experiences – all this requires new words to refer to them clearly and efficiently. When English-speaking people don’t know the word’s meaning they turn to Dictionary.com as a source of truth. For linguists, the traces of that quest for truth show up in our trending lookup data.
The first spike in the popularity of ‘complicit’ word was registered on March 12, with a 10,000% increase in daily average lookups.According to the data from Dictionary.com, this was the day when SNL aired their satirical ad featuring Scarlett Johansson playing Ivanka Trump. The fake scent was marketed as “The fragrance for the woman who could stop all this, but won’t.”
In fact, complicit brings nothing positive or good about it because being complicit is decidedly negative. Whatever your politics, this meaning is not up for debate. Ivanka Trump herself capped off her own personal definition of complicit with her naive “I don’t know what it means to be complicit.”