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Stratcom? Thuma Mina? SA invited to predict 2018's Word of the Year

To celebrate International Dictionary Day on 16 October, PanSALB will announce the 2018 South African Word of the Year, which is chosen to reflect the passing year in language.

Picture: Pixabay

JOHANNESBURG - 'State capture' was selected as 2017's South African Word of the Year, beating runners-up 'white monopoly capital' and 'blesser'. But which word/term will come out on top this year?

To celebrate International Dictionary Day on 16 October, the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) will announce the 2018 South African Word of the Year, which is chosen to reflect the passing year in language.

“The SA Word of the Year need not have been coined within the past 12 months. To qualify for consideration, we look for evidence that its usage has increased significantly across a broad range of media,” said PanSALB acting CEO Angelina Netshiheni.

PanSALB will review candidates for the Word of the Year, debate their merits and choose the one that captures the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of 2018.

A few words that come to mind from this year include Stratcom, which refers to the apartheid-era covert operation which was tasked with spreading propaganda in favour of the state and to tarnish the names of freedom fighters.

'StratCom' came to light again following the death of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in April this year, after she revealed in a documentary that a number of journalists and newspapers were roped in by the police to publish negative stories about her in the late 80s and early 90s.

'Thuma Mina' has become President Cyril Ramaphosa's slogan since he first mentioned it at the State of the Nation Address in February, borrowing from the song of the same title from the late Hugh Masekela, who died in January this year.

South Africans have been invited to predict the Word of the Year using the hashtags #DictionaryDay and #SAWordoftheYear on social media.

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