what they said
Merriam-Webster's word of the year hits the nail on the head when it comes to encapsulating 2016. The dictionary's pick, unveiled Monday, is the word "surreal," which Merriam-Webster defines as "marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream," or "unbelievable, fantastic."
"It just seems like one of those years," Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster's editor at large, said of the choice. Though searches for the word surged at several points in 2016, Sokolowski said the biggest spike was on Nov. 9, the day after Donald Trump won the presidential election.
The dictionary world at least seems to be on the same page about its collective disbelief at the year's events. Oxford Dictionaries' word of the year was "post-truth," meaning "relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief."