‘Youthquake’ named Oxford Dictonaries’ word of 2017

Casper Grathwohl, president of Oxford Dictionaries, said Youthquake was a word everyone could rally behind. (AFP)
Updated 16 December 2017
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‘Youthquake’ named Oxford Dictonaries’ word of 2017

LONDON: “Youthquake” was crowned Friday as Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year 2017, following a five-fold increase in usage.
The word is defined as “a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people.”
It first rose during Britain’s June general election, which saw an upsurge in youth turnout, then had an even bigger spike in September around New Zealand’s general election.
However, the word was first coined in 1965 by the then Vogue magazine editor Diana Vreeland to describe how youth culture was changing fashion and music.
It beat eight other words on the shortlist.
These included “milkshake duck,” a “person or thing that initially inspires delight on social media but is soon revealed to have a distasteful or repugnant past” and “white fragility,” defined as “discomfort and defensiveness on the part of a white person when confronted by information about racial inequality and injustice.”
Also shortlisted was “broflake,” a man who is readily upset or offended by progressive attitudes that conflict with his more conventional or conservative views, and “newsjacking,” defined as taking advantage of current events to promote a brand.
Casper Grathwohl, president of Oxford Dictionaries, said Youthquake was a word everyone could rally behind.
“Youthquake may not seem like the most obvious choice for Word of the Year, and it’s true that it’s yet to land firmly on American soil, but strong evidence in the UK calls it out as a word on the move,” he said.
“We chose youthquake based on its evidence and linguistic interest. But most importantly for me, at a time when our language is reflecting our deepening unrest and exhausted nerves, it is a rare political word that sounds a hopeful note.”
“We turn to language to help us mark where we have been, how far we have come, and where we are heading,” Oxford Dictionaries said.
Youthquake best reflected not only the ethos, mood and preoccupations of the past year, but had “lasting potential as a word of cultural significance.”
The other shortlisted words are antifa, gorpcore, kompromat and unicorn, something dyed with rainbow colors or decorated with glitter.
Previous words of the year include “post-truth” (2016), the “face with tears of joy” emoji (2015), “vape” (2014), “selfie” (2013), “omnishambles” in Britain and “GIF” in the United States (2012) and “squeezed middle” (2011).


Napoleon fever confirmed as hat sells for €350,000

Updated 14 min 55 sec ago
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Napoleon fever confirmed as hat sells for €350,000

  • The final price far exceeded the expected €30,000 to €40,000 for the distinctive “bicorne” hat, which Napoleon wore sideways — rather than with points at the front and back — so he could easily be spotted on the battlefield.
  • Auctioneer Etienne De Baecque: “There’s a sort of craze going on with historical souvenirs, in particular those from Napoleon.”

LYON: A two-cornered military dress hat thought to have belonged to Napoleon went for €350,000 ($406,000) at auction on Monday, the latest sale to highlight the boundless appetite for all things associated with the emperor.
The final price far exceeded the expected €30,000 to €40,000 for the distinctive “bicorne” hat, which Napoleon wore sideways — rather than with points at the front and back — so he could easily be spotted on the battlefield.
The identify of the buyer was not disclosed.
“There’s a sort of craze going on with historical souvenirs, in particular those from Napoleon,” Etienne De Baecque, the auctioneer leading the sale in the eastern city of Lyon, told AFP.
Yet despite details that suggest the hat is one of about 120 the “Little Corsican” went through during his 15 years in power, there is no conclusive proof it belonged to him.
Most of them were made by the French hatmakers Poupard in black felted beaver fur, though only a handful of confirmed examples still exist.
“There are some distinctive elements: Napoleon hated the internal band so he always had it removed,” as is the case with the model sold Monday, De Baecque said.
It has long been attributed to the emperor, with records confirming its ownership since a Dutch captain took it as a war trophy after the battle of Waterloo in 1815.
The auction house said the hat was sold with the box used for its display at the World Expo in Brussels in 1897.
It had passed down through the captain’s family until the end of the last century, when it was sold to a French collector.
Monday’s sale still fell short of the €1.9 million paid for a Napoleon bicorne four years ago — part of a prestigious collection auctioned off by Monaco’s royal family — to the owner of the South Korean food and agriculture giant Harim.
Demand for all things Napoleon has often sent prices spiralling well above estimates.
Last November a fragile gold laurel leaf from the crown made for Napoleon’s coronation in 1804, weighing just 10 grams, was sold for €625,000.