The 2017 Word of the Year Is a Not-So-Subtle Swipe at Trump

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Who knew dictionaries would become the very definition of “cool” in 2017? Merriam-Webster long ago solidified its stance as the socially progressive, passive-aggressive hero of the word-based resistance, and now has joined the ranks with its truly incredible selection for its Word of the Year.

Let’s be honest, dictionaries were always the best. It’s just now, when words are mattering simultaneously more and less than ever, that everyone is beginning to realize just how significant (and badass) dictionaries are.

And it’s not surprising considering who her father is. While Donald Trump has claimed to have “the best words,” he most certainly does not. And neither does his eldest daughter.

No joke, Peyser found examples of eight — EIGHT — common words that Ivanka misused in public. Sure, the occasional slip-up is understandable, but when you’re that bad at speaking, there’s a larger problem at hand.

Come on, people. This is egregious. But “birthday” isn’t the only word Ivanka misused. Other words she used incorrectly include “relative,” “albeit,” “otherwise,” “juxtaposition,” “overlay,” “competition,” and, of course, everyone’s personal favorite, “complicit.”

If you’ll recall, in an interview with CBS News’ Gayle King, Ivanka seemingly did not understand the meaning of the word, saying, “If being complicit is wanting to, wanting to be a force for good and to make a positive impact then I’m complicit.” But that’s not what the word means. Like, at all.

Ivanka became almost synonymous with the word “complicit” after that — she even inspired one of Saturday Night Live’s best sketches of the year.

In the parody commercial, Ivanka is the face of a new perfume called “Complicit.” At this point, it’s true — Ivanka = complicit. And our beloved dictionaries weren’t about to stay out of that conversation…

It was a thing of beauty. Lookups of the word trended after Ivanka admitted to not knowing what it meant, and “complicit” has remained in the lexicon ever since then.

At first, they said it was “covfefe.” Hilarious. But their real selection for Word of the Year — complicit — is just as timely and just as critical of the Trump clan.

Dotard, if you don’t remember, is the insult North Korean leader Kim Jung Un hurled at Trump. It’s a real word that means “a person in his or her dotage (a state or period of senile decay marked by decline of mental poise and alertness).” Ouch.

Picking “complicit” as their Word of the Year is appropriate. It’s not just a swipe at Trump, although that’s a nice bonus. In their blog post, they wrote that the first time searches for “complicit” rose in 2017, it spiked 10,000%.

“Our choice for Word of the Year is as much about what is visible as it is about what is not,” they wrote. “[Complicit] is a word that reminds us that even inaction is a type of action. The silent acceptance of wrongdoing is how we’ve gotten to this point. We must not let this continue to be the norm. If we do, then we are all complicit.” *mic drop*