Cape Town – Load shedding was crowned South Africa’s Word of the Year 2022 by Pan South African Language Board (Pansalb) on Monday.
Pansalb said that SA’s Word of the Year is a word, term or expression preferred to reflect the passing year in language.
Other submitted words included Phala Phala, Immigrant, Gender-Based Violence, iSigaxa sendaba, and Wishy wishy, Pansalb said in a statement.
“Candidates for SA Word of the Year were reviewed by Pansalb and shortlisted, and through media research company Focal Point keywords were tracked for the period October 2021 to September 2022. This media data was analysed to determine the prominence of the keywords within the media and to identify the frequency with which they were used in credible print, broadcast and online media.
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“It should come as no surprise to many South Africans that load shedding has been the most used word/term in South Africa as the dreaded rolling blackouts instituted by Eskom have largely defined our lived experience in 2022,” said Pansalb CEO Lance Schultz.
Load shedding was shortlisted amongst four other terms, Inganekwane, Gaslighting, Xenophobia, and Phala Phala, which came in second place.
“Ultimately, the SA Word of the Year reflects the preoccupations of South Africans for that given period, and this year South Africans had to contend with the impact of the energy crisis in the country. The term load shedding has superseded the first runner-up, which is Phala Phala, with over 40 000 clip counts and mentions across a broad range of media,” said Schultz.
The tracked keywords were for the period October 2021 to September 2022.
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Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe