It’s still 2017 (just) and everything is basically going to shit.
We look like we’re setting course for an unceremonious falling out of the EU. The government is either lying about the forecasted consequences or hasn’t bothered to consider what they’ll be. Meanwhile ministers are toppling left (Green), right (Patel), and centre (Fallon). There has however been one glimmer of hope on our small island, the Oxford Dictionaries have released their word of the year!
Usually this would be a further example of the dire state of our country. I could happily write a whole post on the vile choices we’ve seen in the past. I won’t, but the last decade has given us some corkers. Namely: Vape, Selfie, and somehow the crying laughing emoji. I’m resisting the urge to shred these choices, but I’m sure my tone gives you an adequate idea of how I feel about them.
This year however it was different, this year we got to add ‘Youthquake‘ to our national lexicon. As the dictionaries point out, this isn’t a new word, but it’s finally come into it’s own. It refers to ‘a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people’. In 2017 it experienced a 400% increase in use, peaking during the general election.
Fuelled by a rise in youth engagement at the polling stations (43% in 2015, 64% in 2017). These voters largely rallied behind Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, and along with a dismal campaign from the incumbents helped to swing the election from a 22 point lead. The dictionaries choice of youthquake, firmly vindicates the notion that our current hung parliament was created by the dissatisfaction of the young. By exerting there political influence the youths were able to cause a significant upset on election night. As the word alludes, they caused a political earthquake, dismissing the accepted norms and expectations of previous generations.
It is worth mentioning that the term youthquake has been around since the 60’s, and was initially used by Vogue to explain the increasing cultural shift that the baby boomers were having on society.
Let’s make sure that as the youth of today move into 2018, it’s not the last thing we take from them.