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Millennials to define 2017, Oxford says

Millennials to define 2017, Oxford says

Oxford Dictionaries has declared "Youthquake" as 2017's Word of the Year, reflecting what it calls a "political awakening" among millennial voters, the media reports on Friday.

The word is defined as "a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people".

The word, coined nearly 50 years ago by then-Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, has been used to describe phenomena including surging youth support for Britain's Labour Party and the election of 30-something leaders in France and New Zealand.

But an nearly five-fold resurgence in the usage of the word was seen between 2016 and 2017 in a different context - as a result of surprisingly high youth participation in June's election.

Despite higher engagement figures among the baby boomer generation and despite Labour ultimately ending up with fewer seats, many commentators claimed that "It was the young wot won" it for Jeremy Corbyn - and dubbed their collective actions a "youthquake". The country's new Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, is the world's youngest female leader at 37.

Out of the plethora of words suggested and discussed, only nine made it to the final shortlist - before youthquake was crowned Word of the Year. "Hope that our polarized times are creating a more open-minded electorate that will exercise its voice in the times ahead", she wrote.

The other shortlisted words are antifa, gorpcore, kompromat and unicorn, something dyed with rainbow colours or decorated with glitter.

Oxford Dictionaries said the word sounded a note of hope after what it described as a "difficult and divisive year".

Some people took to Twitter to express surprise over the choice.

Martin explained that the Oxford's Word of the Year is meant to reflect social and political issues while highlighting how language changes over time.

Previous words of the year include "post-truth" (2016), the "face with tears of joy" emoji (2015), "vape" (2014), "selfie" (2013), "omnishambles" in Britain and "GIF" in the United States (2012) and "squeezed middle" (2011).