Photo via Oxford Dictionaries

Oxford Dictionaries asked users to name their least favorite word—and it was a disaster

Well, that escalated quickly.


Nayomi Reghay

Internet Culture

Published Aug 27, 2016   Updated May 26, 2021, 4:03 am CDT

Oxford Dictionaries embarked on what they thought would be a fun-filled crowd-sourcing romp on Thursday.  The dictionary publisher playfully invited users from around the world to submit their least favorite word.

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At first all seemed well.

When submissions opened, the commonly loathed “moist” took the lead in the U.K., U.S., and Australia. “Moist” was soon replaced by “Brexit” which made it to first place in the UK. “British” came in third.

But things soon took an ugly turn. 

Within hours, a blog post on the Oxford Dictionaries website indicated that the #OneWordMap had been shut down.

Oxford Dictionaries

While Oxford Dictionaries gave no examples of the “misuse” cited in their post, The Guardian notes that examples on Twitter indicate that many users were using politically loaded words such as “Israel,” “Iran,” and “Islam.”

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But when we searched Twitter, we found plenty of earnest—not hateful—responses to the hashtag #OneWordMap.

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Although, to be fair, it seems none of them were garnering many likes or RTs. And so it appears, when you ask people to vote for what they dislike, a whole lot of them favor frothing hatred over a small annoyance. 

Who woulda thought?

H/T The Guardian

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*First Published: Aug 27, 2016, 11:00 am CDT