In this, the second of two year-end posts, I look at words associated with some major events and trends of 2018 from the perspective of the US. I’ve picked just six topics from an action-packed year, and I’ve tried to go for variety rather than simply importance, since the purpose of these posts is to provide useful vocabulary, not to report on the news or provide an opinion on it.
Guns: Sadly, some of the biggest news stories of the year have been connected with mass shootings (where many people are killed or injured), such as the one at a school in Florida that left 17 people dead. As always, debate rages between the gun lobby and those who want gun control.
Fortnite: The US is just one of many countries where teenagers have become obsessed with the Fortnite video game. In it, around 100 avatars are dropped onto an island and fight until only one remains. The cartoon style and the sociable nature of the game make it acceptable to many parents, and its dance moves can be seen in school playgrounds everywhere.
#MeToo: The #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault spread rapidly after US movie director Harvey Weinstein was charged with rape in May. The hashtag has been used many millions of times.
North Korea: History was made in June with the first ever summit meeting between the leaders of the US and North Korea. They started with a one-to-one meeting with only their interpreters present. One of the major topics of discussion was denuclearization.
Weather: 2018 started with a so-called cold wave (period of extremely cold weather), with much of the North gripped by record low temperatures (the lowest temperatures ever). During the year, hurricanes flattened buildings in several states, while recent weeks have been marked by wildfires raging out of control in California.
Mid-term elections: In an era of extremely divisive politics, these elections were watched with interest around the world. Democrats took control of (are now in charge of) the House of Representatives, while Republicans increased their majority (now have even more members than the Democrats) in the Senate.
2018 has certainly been an interesting year. I hope it has been a good one for you!