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‘Cancel Culture’ wins Macquarie Dictionary’s 2019 word of the year

Macquarie Dictionary has announced “cancel culture” as its Word Of The Yearbeating out the likes of “thicc” and “robodebt” to take the 2019 title.

Macquarie Dictionary’s selection criteria for Word of the Year is based on which word best reflects the year that passed, and one wouldn’t be amiss for feeling like “cancel culture” may reflect the last few.

“Cancel culture” was selected by Macquarie Dictionary as the Word of the Year due to its prevalence in the cultural zeitgeist and how it reflects the attitudes of 2019.

Cancel culture is defined in the Macquarie Dictionary as a:

“…call for or bring about the withdrawl of support from [for] a public figure, such as cancellation of an acting role, a ban on playing an artist’s music, removal from social media, etc., usually in response to an accusation of a socially unacceptable action or comment by the figure.”

The zeitgeist has been riddled with “cancel culture” and “call-out culture” for a few years now. From the heights of the #metoo controversies – which oversaw the toppling of multiple celebrity empires –  to comedians getting railed for the social media faux pas of their past, no one in the spotlight is safe from the ire of the twitter populace.

There’s no doubt that the outcomes of holding powerful people accountable for their actions have completely changed the trajectory of social dynamics. With the likes of Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey being exposed as sex offenders and a few Aussie music darlings outed as complete douche-canoes, the movement has had an overwhelmingly positive effect.

However, many critics of it (former President Barack Obama and comedian Sarah Silverman to name a few) say that it’s gone too far.

It sure holds a controversial place in pop culture history. Having publicly exhumed the social hierarchy of “man with power does what he wants” many people in the crosshairs of cancel culture have also, albeit arguably, copped a rather unfair social ribbing. However one feels the good outweighs the unfair, and any overcorrection will inevitably subside as the pendulum swings back to the middle. As it always does with everything.

If you disagree with Macquarie’s Word of the Year and demand it be canceled for being problematic, your voice can be heard on twitter. Or alternatively, vote for the People’s Choice Word of the Year right here.

I wanted “thicc” to win anyway.

Macquarie Dictionary also gave honourable mentions to “eco-anxiety” and “Ngangkari”, the former self-explanatory and the latter being an Indigenous language word meaning “practitioner of bush medicine.”

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December 4, 2019