Metaverse claimed second place in the Oxford Word of the Year 2022, losing out by public vote to the eventual winner ‘goblin mode.’
Three hundred thousand people cast their vote in the competition with goblin mode the favorite among the voting public. According to the Oxford University Press goblin mode is a slang term that is “a type of [behavior] which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.”
Goblin mode first emerged as a phrase in 2009 but witnessed a small resurgence in popularity in February and March of 2022.
Metaverse more popular by usage
This year marked the first occasion the Oxford University Press opened ‘Word of the Year’ to a public vote. Goblin mode proved popular in the poll, but second-placed ‘metaverse’ is by far the more popular word by usage.
Oxford University Press gauges word popularity by frequency per million (FPM) tokens, measuring how many instances there are of the keyword per million words.
Goblin mode reached the height of its success in March with a FPM of 0.16. In February the FPM of goblin mode was just below 0.12. Goblin mode remained at or around 0.02 for the remainder of the year.
February was the best performing month for metaverse with a FPM in the 30-34 range, making it between 175-212 times more popular than goblin mode. The FPM of metaverse never fell below 10 for the entire year.
Last year, Oxford University Press selected “vax” as its word of the year. At its peak vax enjoyed a FPM in the 3-3.5 range
The internet knows what is best
In 2016 the British Government asked the public to vote on a new name for a $287 million state-of-the-art polar research ship. The voting public resoundingly voted for the name “Boaty McBoatface.”
Having sought the wisdom of the crowd, the British government went on to christen the ship the RSS Sir David Attenborough.