According to the Collins Dictionary, 2022 has been “an extended period of instability and insecurity”
Collins Dictionary has named “Permacrisis” its word of the year for 2022, stating that the term sums up “how truly awful” it has been. Amid conflict, political upheaval and economic crises, political leaders have told the public to prepare for more of the same.
Defined by Collins as “an extended period of instability and insecurity, especially one resulting from a series of catastrophic events,” ‘Permacrisis’ was announced as the publisher’s word of the year on Tuesday.
The term “sums up just how truly awful 2022 has been for so many people,” said Alex Beecroft, the head of Collins Learning. According to Beecroft, the word aptly describes the feeling of “living through upheaval caused by Brexit, the pandemic, severe weather, the war in Ukraine, political instability, the energy squeeze and the cost-of-living crisis.”
In many respects, the world has been in a state of ‘Permacrisis’ for several years now. The coronavirus pandemic brought with it not just the threat of sickness and death, but draconian restrictions on personal freedom, enacted across the Western world.
Massive government spending during the pandemic triggered a spike in inflation, while sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its military operation in Ukraine deprived the West of vital energy supplies, exacerbating the soaring cost of living.
French President Emmanuel Macron declared in August that the world was facing a “series of crises,” and to prepare for “the end of abundance.” US President Joe Biden has warned his citizens that sanctioning Russia and arming Ukraine “will have costs for us,” and to prepare for the “real” prospect of food shortages.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sees 2022 as an inflection point, after which the collective West – economically crippled from propping up Ukraine – will lose its global dominance.
“We are standing at a historic milestone, ahead of what is probably the most dangerous, unpredictable and at the same time important decade since the end of World War II,” Putin declared in a speech last week. “The West is not able to single-handedly manage humanity, but is desperately trying to do it, and most of the peoples of the world no longer want to put up with it.”
Alternatively, the Russian leader could have used one of the slang terms that made it onto Collins’ word of the year shortlist – ‘Vibe Shift’, meaning “a significant change in a prevailing cultural atmosphere or trend.”
You can share this story on social media: