Monday, October 25

‘Coronavirus’, ‘infodemic’ or ‘resilience’, candidates for word of the year 2020

'Sanitarios', candidate for word of the year

‘Sanitarios’, candidate for word of the year
Araceli Calabuig

‘Coronavirus’, ‘infodemic’, ‘resilience’ or ‘confinement’ are some of the candidates for word of the year 2020 of the Foundation for Urgent Spanish (FundéuRAE).

This will be the eighth time that the Foundation, promoted by the EFE Agency and the RAE, has chosen from among the more than 250 terms to which you have dedicated some of your daily recommendations on the use of the language, his word of the year. The first of them was ‘escrache’, in 2013, followed by ‘selfie’ (2014), ‘refugee’ (2015), ‘populism’ (2016), ‘aporophobia’ (2017), ‘microplastic’ (2018) and emojis (2019).

Before the final election, which will take place on Tuesday, December 29, the Foundation for Urgent Spanish announces a list of twelve candidates who must meet various requirements.

On the one hand, let them be terms that have been, to a greater or lesser extent, present in the social debate and in the media. On the other hand, that, due to their training, meaning or doubts of use, they offer interest from a linguistic point of view and have therefore been the subject of some of the recommendations published daily by the FundéuRAE during the year.

With these criteria, the Foundation has chosen the twelve candidates for this year:

— coronavirus

– infodemia

– resilience

– lockdown

— COVID-19

– telecommuting

– conspiranoia

– Un tik tok

– statuephobia

– pandemic

– sanitary

– vaccine

From the noun ‘coronavirus’, a common term to refer to any virus of the ‘Coronaviridae’ family or of the ‘Coronavirus’ genus, and that since February has been used to refer to ‘SARS-CoV-2’, the name of the disease that This cause, ‘COVID-19’, an acronym that has quickly traveled around the world, is being lexicalized at an unusual speed and has also caused many doubts regarding its grammatical gender.

The similarities and differences between the terms ‘epidemic’ and ‘pandemic’ have placed the latter among the twelve chosen, as well as the noun ‘telework’, which the ‘Dictionary of the Spanish language’ defines as’ work that is carried out from a place outside the company using telecommunication networks to comply with the assigned workloads’.

The ‘confinement’, a translation of the Anglicism ‘lockdown’, which has forced the forced confinement of the inhabitants in their homes for so many months this year, is another of the voices selected. Also the voice ‘infodemic’, which gives name to the overabundance of information (some rigorous and some false) on a subject.

In addition, this year the TikTok application has been very present in our lives, so much so that the noun ‘tiktok’, written in lowercase and with round letters, is considered valid to refer to the short videos that are shared with it.

Another neologism found among the words chosen is ‘statuephobia’, a term used in the information about the protests against racial discrimination and which means ‘aversion or rejection of statues’, as well as the voice ‘conspiranoia’, appropriate to refer to the tendency to interpret certain events as the result of a conspiracy, and widely quoted in the news about the elections in the United States.

The list of 12 candidates is completed by the voices ‘resilience’, the ability to adapt and recover facing an adverse situation; ‘sanitary’, valid and frequent shortening of ‘health personnel’, and ‘vaccine’, protagonist of the covers of these last months. Information on all the candidates this year, as well as on the winners in previous editions, is available in the special Word of the Year, on the Foundation’s website.

The FundéuRAE (, promoted by the EFE Agency and the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE), has as its main objective the proper use of Spanish in the media.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *