Several new words made their way into the lexicon in 2017 while others were inadvertently invented. FRANCE 24 takes a look back at some of the terms that helped define the year.
US President Donald Trump is no stickler for traditional spelling and usage, but when he tweeted the word “covfefe” in May, millions were baffled. “Despite the constant negative press covfefe,” he wrote. The typo inspired a night of social media speculation before it was deleted and replaced with a tweet reading: “Who can figure out the true meaning of ‘covfefe’?”. Needless to say, the internet had a few suggestions.
“France is an unreformable country,” French President Emmanuel Macron proclaimed during an August speech in Budapest. “Many have tried and have not succeeded, because the French hate reforms. If they can avoid reform, they do.” His remarks caused quite a stir in France, where his compatriots bristled at the criticism. Nevertheless, the young president has managed to pass several controversial reforms since taking office.
Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya minority group has long been discriminated against, but a surge of violence in 2017 caused hundreds of thousands to flee into neighbouring Bangladesh. Accounts of mass killings, systematic rape and torture by the Myanmar army have captured the attention of the international community and made “Rohingya” a household word.
"I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire." North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s surprisingly adroit insult had many of us running for our dictionaries. “Dotard” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a person in his or her dotage", or "a state or period of senile decay marked by decline of mental poise and alertness". Kim used the archaic 14th-century insult several times in an unprecedented first-person address to Trump.
Kim Jong-un wasn’t the only one to get creative with insults in 2017. Trump has taken to referring to the North Korean leader as “Rocket man” for his recent missile tests in tweets and speeches, including one at the United Nations.
Being nice to Rocket Man hasn't worked in 25 years, why would it work now? Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed. I won't fail.Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2017
The #MeToo hashtag inspired an anti-harassment movement and encouraged millions to break their silence and share their own experiences. It started trending worldwide in the wake of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s downfall over allegations of decades of sexual misconduct.
In pictures: women march in Paris against sexual violence
Several French feminist organisations called for a mass street protest on Saturday to demand gender equality in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal. Photo Mehdi Chebil
This protester wears a black banner denouncing sexual assaults in France: "230 rapes per day, 15800 complaints in 2016". Photo Mehdi Chebil
Liselotte came dressed as Marianne, a symbol of the French republic. The 25-year-old said she suffered sexual harassment at her job, in the catering industry, as well as groping on public transport. Photo Mehdi Chebil
Thousands of women took part in Saturday's protest. Photo Mehdi Chebil
Liliane, a 57-year-old nurse, suffered from conjugal violence about 30 years ago. She said that it was time for women to break their silence on conjugal violence. Photo Mehdi Chebil
Loic (centre) marched with a banner in favour of women's right to access free abortion. The 33-year-old high-school teacher said "popular resistance" was needed to ensure equality between men and women. Photo Mehdi Chebil
Femen activists made a short appearance at the beginning of the protest, going topless to call for “female revenge”. Photo Mehdi Chebil
Rozenn came to the protest with a banner reading "wolf-whistling is not a compliment". The 34-year-old comedian said that Macron's proposal of making sexual insults an offence was a good idea - but a difficult one to enforce. Photo Mehdi Chebil
Heloise (centre) said that in court, abusers should be the ones having to prove that sex was consensual - an exact opposite of the current situation where victims need to prove that they were abused. Photo Mehdi Chebil
Some protesters read the stories of sexual assault victims. Photo Mehdi Chebil
Several women marched with banners reading the names of recent sexual assault victims. Photo Mehdi Chebil
The protest against sexual assaults came as Macron unveiled measures aimed at educating the public and schoolchildren about sexism and violence against women. Photo Mehdi Chebil
Feminism (Merriam-Webster's word of the year)
The Women’s March the day after Trump’s inauguration, the release of the TV series The Handmaid’s Tale and the Hollywood blockbuster Wonder Woman joined the #MeToo phenomenon in helping to make “feminism” the most looked-up word in Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary this year.
‘Youthquake’ (Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year)
Defined as “a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people”, "youthquake" was Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year. Young people helped shake up politics in 2017, turning out in record numbers to support opposition and fringe parties in the UK, France and beyond.
Latino music broke global music charts this year. With 4.5 billion YouTube views, “Despacito” by Puerto Rican artists Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee became the most-viewed music video of all time while “Mi Gente” by Colombian-born J Balvin and French artist Willy William hit #1 on Spotify’s list of most-streamed songs worldwide.
The FBI investigation and rampant speculation about whether Trump or any of his campaign advisers colluded with Russia to help swing the 2016 election has haunted the US president’s first year in office.
Obstruction of justice can consist of any attempt to “hinder the discovery, apprehension, conviction or punishment of anyone who has committed a crime”, according to the Ohio State Bar Association. The issue of obstruction is the million-dollar question behind Trump’s firing of former FBI director James Comey and one of the most-feared words for US presidents: Both Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon were accused of obstruction during the Monica Lewinsky and Watergate scandals, respectively. Special Counsel Robert Mueller continues to investigate whether Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice among other lines of inquiry involving the Trump administration’s dealings with Russia.
Date created : 2017-12-30