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Science fiction: ‘Metaverse’ in the running for Oxford’s Word of the Year 2022

By Raphael Sanis

14:10, 22 November 2022

Someone holding an Oxford Dictionary
The public can vote for Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year for the first time – Photo: Shutterstock

Metaverse is one of three terms that the public can vote on for Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year, after Facebook’s rebrand to Meta (META) last year.

For the first time in its history, Oxford Languages has opened its word of the year competition to the public. This is giving people around the world a say in its final process.

Its team of lexicographers narrowed down 2022’s most influential words into a choice of just three. Users can choose their favourite via a poll on the Oxford Languages website.

Describing the metaverse’s impact this year, the website said: “We see the conceptual future brought into the vernacular in 2022. From hybrid working in VR, to debates over the ethics and feasibility of an entirely online future, usage of this word has quadrupled in October 2022 compared to the same period last year.”

The other two words  and phrases in competition with metaverse are “goblin mode” and “#IStandWith”.

Metaverse’s underwhelming year

Facebook generated attention in October 2021 after changing its name to Meta, which reflected the company’s view that metaverses would be integral to the internet’s future.

Meta's (META) share price chart

As a result, already existing metaverses took off, along with their native cryptocurrencies. Platforms including Decentraland (MANA) and The Sandbox (SAND) saw new all-time highs for their tokens in November 2021.

But the virtual worlds could not seem to harness this excitement into 2022. While cryptocurrencies faced overwhelming bear pressure, the actual metaverse platforms were criticised over their low user counts.

Meanwhile, the newly rebranded Meta was facing its own complications. The technology giant was mocked online after CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared his avatar from Meta’s virtual platform.

ETH/USD

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Short position overnight fee 0.0137%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 6.00

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Short position overnight fee 0.0041%
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Short position overnight fee 0.0116%
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Spread 1.20

The post was criticised over its simplistic graphics and had people questioning the billions of dollars invested into Meta’s virtual reality.

Most recently, Meta announced it was laying off 13% of its workforce, with more than 11,000 staff leaving the company.

Metaverse’s competition

There are two other words competing for Oxford Dictionary’s annual title. #IStandWith, a term popularised through social media, “recognises the activism and division that has characterized this year”.

Examples listed by the dictionary include the war in Ukraine and the Depp v. Heard court case.

Meanwhile, goblin mode “is another relatively new concept” with the term’s usage dating back to 2009. Goblin mode refers to rejecting “societal expectations put upon us, in favour of doing whatever one wants to”.

Last year’s popular words

While vax was Oxford dictionary’s word of the year in 2021, Collins Dictionary opted for a more blockchain-themed term.

It gave the annual title to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which soared in popularity that year. Tokenised artwork with record breaking prices and tokens with gaming utility contributed to NFTs number one status

Collins Dictionary said: “Whether the NFT will have a lasting influence is yet to be determined, but its sudden presence in conversations around the world makes it very clearly our Word of the Year.”

Markets in this article

MANA/USD
Decentraland / USD
0.37201 USD
-0.0009 -0.250%
SAND/USD
SAND/USD
0.35704 USD
0.00418 +1.220%
META
Meta Platforms Inc (Extended Hours)
477.55 USD
-0.5 -0.100%

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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