12.01.2018 change 12.01.2018

Forest - Word of the Year 2017

Puszcza Białowieska. Photo: PAP/Artur Reszko 17.10.2017 Puszcza Białowieska. Photo: PAP/Artur Reszko 17.10.2017

Forest - this is the most important Word of the Year 2017 according to the jury of the competition organized by the University of Warsaw. In the following places were: smog, court and constitution. According to Internet users, Word of the Year 2017 is - resident.

A nationwide poll designed to select the most important word of the past year was organized for the 7th time by the Institute of the Polish Language of the University of Warsaw with the support of the National Centre for Culture and the Polish Language Foundation.

The organisers announced the verdict on Thursday at a press conference. Prof. Marek Łaziński, the secretary of the competition jury, noted that the verdicts of the jury, composed of linguists and Internet users, were usually convergent, but this year, as in the previous year, it was different.

"Last year\'s words were very political, they were associated with events that very clearly focused attention and disputes. This year, it could be said that +forest+ is a word seemingly distant from politics, although if we recall why it has become the word of the year and in what contexts it was used in the press - of course, all were associated with decisions taken and implemented in political life" - said Prof. Łaziński.

As he noted, "we choose the words of the year for two reasons - and these reasons are different, which does not mean that they are competing - depending on the point of view". "Linguists want to study words, and words have not only meanings, but also associations. These associations attached to words are often no less important than meanings. Both linguists and average language users would like to use words and concepts they represent as symbols. In the lens of these symbols, in a sense, the memory of the departing year is focusing. Of course we will not answer why +forest+, and not something else" - said Prof. Łaziński.

Prof. Jerzy Bralczyk, member of the jury, said that he was happy that the word +forest+ had won. "I am glad that it is a Polish word +forest+ - although it is associated with negative events such felling, bark beetle and other elements, it is still a beautiful word and maybe years later it will turn out that in the history of these words it will be a trace of return to nature. Which is why I am happy with this +forest+" - he said

As he noted, "this word gained popularity relatively late". "And it usually happens that words that are used a little more often at the end of the year have better chances. I think it is the right choice" - concluded Prof. Bralczyk.

In the poll, Internet users chose + resident+ a the word of the year - the word that - as Prof. Łaziński noted - also gained popularity at the end of last year. In the following places were: smog and forest.

Internet users could choose from the suggested words that appeared most often in the media in 2017, and propose other words. Last year, the words of the month were: smog, air, court, council, gymnasium, forest, tree, victim, storm, reform, resident, hunger strike and assessor.

In the Most Important Word of 2016 poll, according to Internet users, +five hundred+ won, followed closely by +protest+ and +education+. In turn, according to the jury, the most important word of 2016 was +tribunal+. (PAP)

author: Nadia Senkowska

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