Dictionary.com’s Word of the Year sums up 2017 perfectly — and they announced it in the shadiest way possible
Though it’s hard to believe that 2017 is almost over, and that we’ve survived over a year of Donald Trump as president, it’s true. Year-end lists are coming out, and one of the first 2017 reviews comes courtesy of Dictionary.com. The online dictionary revealed that its 2017 Word of the Year is “complicit.” And if you didn’t think that this was directed at President Donald Trump and his family, Dictionary.com’s tweet about its Word of the Year made it crystal clear.
Let’s just say that no one will ever be able to say that they “don’t know what it means to be complicit” ever again.
To get any confusion out of the way, Dictionary.com states that complicit means “choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act, especially with others; having partnership or involvement in wrongdoing.” So yeah, it’s not a good thing. Even before Ivanka Trump was named an adviser to her father, she and husband Jared Kushner were accused of being “complicit” when it came to Trump’s presidency.
A Los Angeles Times article — which called Ivanka the “liberal hope of the Trump administration” — spoke to a Halt Action Group artist who believes Ivanka to be “complicit.” She explained that liberal-leaning people thought Ivanka would fight for women’s rights and climate change, among other issues. But the narrative that Ivanka is a feminist or champion of women’s rights has consistently been proven false (quite excellently, we might add, by Michelle Wolf of The Daily Show) as Ivanka stood by her father’s reprehensible behavior and policies. false
To top it all off, in a CBS This Morning interview from April 2017, Ivanka addressed this, stating:
"If being complicit is wanting to, is wanting to be a force for good and to make a positive impact, then I'm complicit. I don't know that the critics who may say that of me — if they found themselves in this very unique and unprecedented situation that I am now in — would do any differently than I am doing. So I hope to make a positive impact. I don't know what it means to be complicit, but you know, I hope time will prove that I have done a good job and much more importantly, that my father's administration is the success that I know it will be."
So is it any wonder that Dictionary.com decided to target Ivanka so directly with its Word of the Year? Even better is the fact that it also took a shot at Donald Trump in its announcement by tweeting:
“We’re so excited to announce that the Word of the Year is covfefe! JUST KIDDING! But it is complicit.”
(For those who might have missed it, covfefe was a typo made by Donald Trump in a tweet that set the internet on fire.)
Of course, Dictionary.com isn’t the first dictionary to throw shade Ivanka’s way, since Merriam Webster tweeted about the meaning of “complicit” after her CBS interview.
And Stephen Colbert also mocked Ivanka’s grasp of the English language … false
… after being inspired by Vice writer Eve Peyser’s tweets on the subject.
But in the end, Dictionary.com chose its 2017 word to highlight examples of not being complicit with the Trump administration. In its Word of the Year write-up, Dictionary.com cited the Women’s March and Colin Kaepernick’s 2016 protest as examples of this, writing,
"We chose our Word of the Year, in part, because of noteworthy stories of those who have refused to be complicit. In the face of oppression and wrongdoing, this refusal to be complicit has been a grounding force of 2017."
Even though Dictionary.com joked about the Trump family in its tweet about the Word of the Year, the choice of complicit was deliberate and meaningful. The dictionary also wrote: “Our choice for Word of the Year is as much about what is visible as it is about what is not. It’s a word that reminds us that even inaction is a type of action. The silent acceptance of wrongdoing is how we’ve gotten to this point. We must not let this continue to be the norm. If we do, then we are all complicit.”
For the end of 2017, Dictionary.com is giving the gift of knowledge.