A New Year, a New Word of the Year, Well, Actually Three…

The first Word of the Year comes from dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster. Its choice, made after “searches on the company’s website and on world events” is authentic. Says the company’s editor Peter Sokolowski, “We see 2023 a kind of crisis of authenticity. We don’t always trust what we see anymore.”

Seems he’s right, given the current state of news reporting, politics, Artificial Intelligence renderings, and on and on.

Next up is The Oxford Dictionary’s choice: rizz, short for charisma, defined as “an individual’s ability to attract and influence other people” and “a special magnetic charm or appeal.” Says reporter Susan Carpenter, “You’ve either got it or you don’t.”

And influences, sure hope they do. Parents and teachers, too…

Finally comes Education Week‘s first-ever Word of the Year. The organization says, “Our No. 1 word of 2023, which far outpaced almost every other selection in the number of times it popped up in coverage, surprised us initially. It also reminds us how committed our readers are to Education Week’s core mission of empowering the entire K-12 education community with deep insight and actionable resources.”

Its choice: math because it got 1,367 mentions since January 1, 2023, and that did it.

You may be clapping for these three, but not me. I mean, sure, authenticity matters to me, and I could use some rizz, but math? No way! I mean I still count on my fingers and have never balanced my checkbook, so I’m over here wishing instead that gratitude or kindness had gotten at least 1,037 mentions last year and one of them were Word of the Year.

Oh, I’d also vote for grit, a word gone sorely missing nowadays, in school and out.

~ With my many thanks and good 2024 wishes, Carol