‘Metaverse’ a top 3 contender for Oxford’s Word of the Year


The word “Metaverse” is one of three in the race to be crowned the Oxford “Word of the Year” (WOTY) in a competition organized by the Oxford University Press (OUP), the publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary.

OUP officially announced the launch of the competition and its three finalist words for 2022 on November 22nd with this year marking the first time the public can participate in voting for the WOTY.

“Metaverse” will compete against the terms “#IStandWith” and “Goblin Mode”.

In OUP’s video presentation for the Metaverse, it was described as “a hypothetical virtual reality environment in which users interact with each other’s avatars and their environment in an immersive way.”

“The term dates back to the 1990s, with the first recorded use in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1992 in Neil Stephenson’s science fiction novel Snow Crash,” the video stated.

Oxford noted that “Metaverse” quadrupled in use in October 2022 compared to that of October 2021. The video stated that more lifestyle and work-related activities taking place in virtual reality environments may lead to “more debates about the ethics and feasibility of an entirely online future.” .”

As for the other two WOTY nominees, “#IStandWith” has become an increasingly used phrase for political activism, while “Goblin Mode” has emerged as a post-COVID-19 lockdown concept in which one rejects “getting back to normal” and instead does. what they want to do.

As for how the three sentences were chosen, OUP stated that they ran an analysis on a language data system to narrow the candidates down to three.

To officially vote for “Metaverse” or the other two candidates, voters must vote on Oxford Languages. website

More than 237,000 votes have been cast so far, with voting closing on December 2.

Oxford has not stated when the winning word will be announced.

Related: What is metaverse in blockchain? A beginner’s guide to an online virtual world

In what could spell how the votes are going, at the time of writing an OUP Twitter poll shows that 63% of 929 voters preferred “Goblin Mode”, followed by “Metaverse” at 22% then “#IStandWith” at 15% :

Whatever the results of the poll, the Metaverse is predicted to be a significant industry in the near future, with a recent report by international consulting firm McKinsey estimating Metaverse-related technologies to be worth $5 trillion by 2030.

Investment bank Citi upped that prediction, saying the total addressable market for the Metaverse economy may fall in the range of $8-13 trillion over the same time frame.

The understanding of the Metaverse has been most significantly influenced by the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, along with the rebranding of Facebook to Meta by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in October 2021 and its recent developments regarding its Metaverse products through its Reality Labs business.