#Blacklivesmatter : an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.
The key language involved in the movement mentioned above has been selected as the American Dialect Society’s 2014 Word of the Year, having won by a significant majority.
The ADS, a group of academics and linguists, have been selecting the “Word of The Year” since 1990, broke convention by having chosen a phrase instead of a single word, but Ben Zimmer, the chair of the New Words Committee, told TIME Magazine that “ The membership feels that it’s a time to recognize that hashtags are an innovative linguistic form that deserve our attention.”
Having been created in 2012 following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case, the hashtag served as a means to express their outrage over the fact that black life didn’t seem to matter in America, and served as a rallying cry for those seeking justice and liberation.
Voters on the committee felt as though the phrase encompassed the most important issues facing the country in 2014, with protests and activism becoming both prevalent and controversial in the light of the multiple murders of unarmed black individuals by police across the country. Although #blacklivesmatter took the cake other phrases that propelled social media dialogue and debate that were deemed most notable included:
#icantbreathe: the final words of Eric Garner and used by protestors, #notallmen: the counter to the #yesallwomen hashtag, used when talking about patriarchal systems and abuse, and #whyistayed: in the wake of the dialogue surround Ray and Janay Rice, women used this hashtag to share personal stories and discuss why some stay in abusive relationships.
Hopefully in 2015 these words will be a thing of the past, making a brighter and more peaceful future for us all.
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