With 2017 in the rearview mirror, it’s time for a parting wave to the word of the year — truth — according to the Global Language Monitor. It seems many Americans bandied this about this past year, possibly because of the news and those accused of being “complicit,” which is the word of the year at Dictionary.com. Doubtless many had to look that up also.

So you are not complicit with their naiveté, it means to be involved or associated in illegal activity or wrongdoing. Collusion. Connivance. Conspiracy. Collaboration. The original word was “complicity” but someone in the middle of the past century was complicit in changing it. You can be societally complicit, meaning you don’t do the act but choose to be involved, and Christians believe you can be complicit with the devil. That carries a hefty penalty.

Candidates for the word of the year are selected and sifted by organizations such as the venerable Oxford English Dictionary, which amass evidence throughout the year from newspapers, books and other sources of spoken English, after which they apply processes that enable them to study shifts in language. Social media is considered, as is everything from Global Language Monitor’s No.10 ranked “opioids” to the newly coined “Robot Apocalypse,” in addition to suggestions sent to them. Candidates don’t necessarily have to be new words but must have gained prominence in the past 12 months. “Lasting potential for cultural significance” and “reflects the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of that particular year” also are debated.

Dictionary.com counts the number of searches, and some words made the shortlist, even though they didn’t make the final cut, like “horologist.”

It’s not what it sounds like.


Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at Fete@theadvocate.com.

Rio Rehearsal

It's the calm before the storm. The Krewe of Carnivale en Rio went through its paces at the Cajundome Convention Center on a late Friday afternoon prior to its ball. The mood was merry and the giant mushrooms lit — no connection — while onstage, a partially-costumed court found their places. “After that, it’s easy peasy, just step down onto the float,” intoned the choreographer. Making it look easy was ebullient ball Captain Jeanie Simon, their royal majesties King Dom Pedro Vernon Moret Jr. and Queen Isabella Kim Trahan, Mike Ortego, aka The Mad Hatter. Ramona Perrin, in town from White Castle, was the table décor diva.

Xanadu 12th Night

The Krewe of Xanadu gathered at the Petroleum Club for a casual 12th Night party, the better to start their Mardi Gras engines. We understand from ball Captain Tina DeRouen that the ladies are giving Hot Rod Magazine some competition this year, and if “Yellow Barracuda” Angela Reed and her madras cowboy boots are any example, we believe it. Xanadu has a racing theme this season, and enjoying a Petroleum Club pit stop was “El Camino” Emily Goodman, King Xanadu Elmo Lasseigne sans crown, Queen Xanadu Kay Foreman avec hers, but best of all, visiting Scotsman William Bruce, who "didna get all dressed up for nothin."

Triton 12th Night

And hot on Xanadu's heels, the men of Triton convened at the Petroleum Club for their 12th Night party and kick off Carnival revelry. King William Ritchey sported his crown, Queen Triton Lesley Maxwell made a dramatic entrance in hers, and this year’s dukes awaited their roasting, an annual rite that prepares them for initiation. Ready to rumble: Dukes Carl Sonnier, Chuck Peddy and Paul Boudreaux, emcee Kent Gonsoulin, event organizer Kevin Broussard and wise-cracking Patrick Doucet and Scott Coco. The Advocate would like to thank the queen for the gracious hospitality and invitation to her Oakbourne Country Club Queen’s Luncheon. “I know where to have a luncheon,” she said. We couldn’t agree more. Triton’s Ball will be held Feb. 10 at the Cajundome.