Quest To Crown The Most Unpopular Word In The English Language

dictionary
A dictionary definition of the word 'plebeian,' shortened to 'pleb', on September 24, 2012 in London, England. Today Oxford Dictionaries announced the launch of #OneWordMap, a global initiative inviting the public to answer a series of language-related questions. Hugh Pinney/Getty Images

Oxford Dictionaries is on a global quest to discover the least popular word in the English language. The dictionary publisher hopes that the #OneWordMap survey, launched today, will be the largest of its kind, asking English speakers all over the world to answer a range of questions relating to the their language gripes; the first one being "what is your least favourite English word?"

By Thursday early afternoon, almost 12,000 words had been submitted. Participants submit their response on the website dedicated to the survey featuring an interactive map, which shows the demographics of the submissions so far by country.

In the U.K. for example, the majority of respondents are between 25 to 44 years old; 46 per cent are women, 54 per cent are men. "British" is already at the top of the list, followed by "Brexit," "no," "moist" and "like."

Moist is the most disliked word in the U.S., Australia and Canada. Surprisingly, "hello" is the least popular word in Spain, while in the Netherlands "war" and "love" feature in the top five. In Ireland "racist" is top of the list; a possible reaction to the recent Brexit vote.

"It's evident that Brexit has played a part in people's choices," Daniel Braddock, ‎Content Marketing Manager at Oxford University Press (OUP) tells Newsweek . "We're always trying to find ways of getting people to engage more with words and language, so we wanted to create something interactive that people could contribute to."

Few countries in Africa have taken part in the survey so far, with just one respondent from Ghana, Nigeria, Chad and Zimbabwe respectively.

Oxford Dictionaries hopes that tens of thousands of people will contribute. Many participants have already sharing their choices on Twitter.

Compiled into a list of the least popular words by country, age, and gender, the results " may show some surprising similarities, as well as differences" across the world, Oxford Dictionaries said in a statement issued to Newsweek.

The survey's findings will be made accessible to the public in an online database in the coming weeks.

Quest To Crown The Most Unpopular Word In The English Language | Culture