You’ve had a big year. A huge year, even. And it’s culminated in this: your crowning as The Collins Word of the Year 2017.
You beat out some tough competitors, like Fidget Spinner, Insta (as a prefix) and Unicorn. There were shortlisted words that were political in nature as well, so congratulations on surpassing Echo Chamber and Antifa in your cultural significance!
As defined by Collins, you are “false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting.”
Your popularity skyrocketed this year. Since 2016, your usage went up 365 percent. That’s essentially a percentage point a day.
Whether or not you meant for things to work out this way, the hearty endorsements you received from President Trump boosted your visibility big-time in the past 12 months.
On Twitter alone, our President has name-dropped you 167 times since winning the election.
No institution of media or journalism has been safe from his eagle-eyed scrutiny. CNN, NBC News, ABC, CBS, the New York Times and the Washington Post: Fake News!
“With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!” Trump tweeted just last month. He followed up by saying:
“It’s frankly disgusting that the press is able to write whatever it wants.”
I know we’re all holding our breaths in anticipation for what he’ll be able to say in 280 characters. I can spell out Fake News 28 times (with spaces) in a single tweet now. Talk about power!
You know, Fake News, it might make you insecure that the person who hypes you up the most only does it to antagonize you.
But maybe he’s using you to antagonize what he thinks you represent. You’ve seen "500 Days of Summer," right? You know how Tom thought he fell in love with Summer, but really he fell in love with the idea of Summer?
Maybe our President hates the idea of Fake News. Not the actual you.
If the New York Times wasn’t actually Fake News, the vitriol he’s been spewing would be directed at the freedom of the press and journalists who are just doing their jobs.
It’s like when Tom initially found out that Summer also liked the Smiths. He held on to that one ideal aspect of her to defend what he thought was a soulmate-level relationship. But the Smiths are a pretty popular band, and Summer was just a flawed (though still lovable) human being.
Maybe, what our President hates might just be... the press. And what he might be hanging on to to justify that might just be... you.
Anyway, I was just checking in with you after hearing the big (not Fake) news (ha ha).
Larry the Twitter Bird
P.S. Yes, it’s my real name you can look it up, it’s definitely not Fake News. That’s you! Okay, take care now.