Hey guys! Let’s check the answer to the last [Phrases] episode first.

A. drive sb around the bend

B. be/feel under the weather

C. be over the moon

D. at the end of the day

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Congratulations on these two blessed guys who gave the correct spelling ahead of anyone else!

Today we are going to learn some Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year.


1. Toxic. (2018)

The British publisher defines the adjective toxic as “poisonous.” The word first appeared in English in the 1650s. It came from the Latin word toxicus, meaning “poisoned.”The Latin word itself actually came from the Greek term toxon, meaning “bow.”

In ancient Greece, fighters with bows would put poison on the points of their arrows. Oxford chooses a Word of the Year that best describes the mood of the past year. The word also should “have lasting potential” as a term of cultural importance. Oxford said its data showed a 45 percent rise in searches for the word toxic on its website in 2018. The searches began with the toxic chemical poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain. Then, in Syria, a toxic chemical weapon attack killed at least 40 people and led to a missile strike from the United States.

The public also was concerned about toxic gas after a series of hurricanes and other storms. Others worried about the burning of toxic waste in India and toxic air pollution around the world. In the American state of Florida, huge numbers of dead fish washed up on the beaches because of toxic algae. But the increasingly common phrase “toxic environment” has nothing to do with pollution. Oxford says people searched for this phrase in connection to unpleasant workplace environments, including the worldwide walkout of Google employees. They were protesting sexual wrongdoing, unequal pay and discrimination. Others wanted to know about toxic relationships, especially connected to the MeToo movement against sex abuse and the confirmation hearing of Brett Kavanaugh as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

       When using insecticides and other toxic chemicals, cover your skin with gloves, long sleeves, a hat and a mask.

2. Youthquake. (2017)

The noun, youthquake, is defined as ‘a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people’.

The data collated shows a fivefold increase in usage of youthquake in 2017 compared to 2016, the word having first struck in a big way in June with the UK’s general election at its epicenter.

On 18 April, Prime Minister Theresa May, leader of the Conservatives, called a snap election triggering seven weeks of intense political campaigning. After the British public went to the polls on 8 June, headlines emerged of an unexpected insurgency of young voters.

So despite higher engagement figures among the baby boomer generation and despite Labour ultimately ending up with fewer seats than the Conservatives in the House of Commons, many commentators declared that ‘It was the young wot “won” it for Jeremy Corbyn’, and dubbed their collective actions a ‘youthquake’.

A youthquake has altered the Westminster landscape.

3. Post-truth.

After much discussion, debate, and research, the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2016 is post-truth – an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’.The script was provided by a guest writer, the cultural commentator Neil Midgley.

The concept of post-truth has been in existence for the past decade, but Oxford Dictionaries has seen a spike in frequency this year in the context of the EU referendum in the United Kingdom and the presidential election in the United States. It has also become associated with a particular noun, in the phrase post-truth politics.

Post-truth has gone from being a peripheral term to being a mainstay in political commentary, now often being used by major publications without the need for clarification or definition in their headlines.

The term has moved from being relatively new to being widely understood in the course of a year – demonstrating its impact on the national and international consciousness. The concept of post-truth has been simmering for the past decade, but Oxford shows the word spiking in frequency this year in the context of the Brexit referendum in the UK and the presidential election in the US, and becoming associated overwhelmingly with a particular noun, in the phrase post-truth politics.

Some commentators have observed that we are living in a post-truth age.

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[Practice]

1. In this era of ________ politics, it’s easy to cherry-pick data and come to whatever conclusion you desire

A. toxic

B. youthquake

C. post-truth

2. couture is undergoing something of a _________.

A. toxic

B. youthquake

C. post-truth

3. There weren’t any chemical factories or ________ waste dumps or traffic, just a few goats and olive trees.

A. toxic

B. youthquake

C. post-truth


Share the answer with me in your comment!

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