Tag Archives: Oxford

The Word of the Year doesn’t mean everlasting popularity for the expression


The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2017 is youthquake. The dictionary defines the word as ‘a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people’. We’ll have to wait for a year or so in order to find out if this particular word of the year sticks around any longer because most of the previously chosen word of the year–expressions have quickly disappeared into thin air.

books on a library shelf, boy reading
The Word of the Year is a word or expression that Oxford Dictionary lexicographers identify as something that has attracted plenty of interest during a year. Candidate words are discussed, and the expression that is eventually chosen is judged to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the year, and to have lasting potential as a word of cultural significance.

How often do the experts choose a word that stands the test of time? As a writer, I don’t want to use an expression that is hyped for a few months only, and quickly forgotten when the next popular word takes over. Here is the Word of the Year list from the last 10 years:

2016: Post-truth
2015: [Emoji showing a face with tears of joy]
2014: Vape
2013: Selfie
2012: Omnishambles (UK), GIF (US)
2011: Squeezed middle
2010: Big society (UK), refudiate (US)
2009: Simples (UK), unfriend (US)
2008: Credit crunch (UK), hypermiling (US)
2007: Carbon footprint (UK), Locavore (US)

Only selfie and the particular emoji image are still frequently appearing in many types of writings. The hit rate of the Oxford Dictionary experts could be better, but seeing the future – even when only one word is considered – is not easy.

Perhaps the Word of the Year-committee has better words on its final list, but fails to identify the right one? The shortlist for the Word of the Year 2017 was:

Milkshake Duck
White fragility

Here are the countries where you have plenty of colleagues who also provide professional services online


If you are a writer or a freelancer providing writing-related services, like translation, editing, or proofreading, and you manage your assignments through online services, you know how global the business is. Many other professionals, such as programmers, graphic designers, and photographers also sell their services on global online freelance platforms. If you have ever wondered where these different types of professionals are located, now there is a map for that.

Vili Lehdonvirta at the Oxford Internet Institute has collected data from various online freelancing services, and put together graphs that show where professionals are participating in remote work processes and projects, and in which countries specific type of work is performed.
Online Labour Index, Oxford University, Vili Lehdonvirta
The statistics, titled Online Labour Index, shows which skills regions and countries are providing to the global market. For instance, the most common type of remote work in the United States is writing and translation. Indian subcontinent is a major supplier of software development and technology skills. Europe is divided in north, south and central regions that provide different types of services.

The largest supplier of online labour is the traditional outsourcing destination India, which is home to 24 percent of all the workers observed. India is followed by Bangladesh (16 %) and United States (12 %).

The software development and technology work category is dominated by workers in the Indian subcontinent, who command a 55 percent market share. The professional services category, which consists of services such as accounting, legal services, and business consulting, is led by professionals based in the UK with a 22 percent market share.
Online Labour Index, Oxford University, Vili Lehdonvirta
The data for the statistics was collected from four large online professional service trading platforms, also known as online freelancing or online outsourcing platforms: Fiverr, Freelancer, Guru, and PeoplePerHour. They are English-language platforms, meaning that non-English-speaking countries are likely to be underrepresented in the figures. Many freelance service platforms exist in other languages, but English-language platforms are the primary ones in international trade. Internet traffic statistics indicate that the four mentioned sites represent at least 40 percent of the global market for platform-based online work. The figures are likely to give a good indication of the overall market, and particularly which skills regions and countries provide to the global market.

Find out more graphs and data from Vili Lehdonvirta’s article at the Unversity of Oxford web site.