By Nathan Vicar
(WOMC) — And the word of the year is? Complicit.
Dictionary.com announced Monday that “complicit” is the site’s word of 2017.
Complicit means “choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act, especially with others; having partnership or involvement in wrongdoing.” Or, put simply, it means being, at some level, responsible for something . . . even if indirectly.
According to site lexicographer Jane Solomon, numerous events from politics to natural disasters, drove more people to look up “complicit” at particular times of the year.
The first spike in searches for complicit was on March 12, with a 10,000% increase in daily average lookups. This was the day after Saturday Night Liveaired their satirical ad featuring Scarlett Johansson playing Ivanka Trump, hawking a perfume called Complicit. This scent was marketed as “The fragrance for the woman who could stop all this, but won’t.”
Look-ups of the word increased nearly 300 percent over 2016.
noted in a blog post about its Word of the Year that the selection is “as much about what is visible as it is about what is not.”
It’s 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.