In 2022, the phrase expressing an internet-enabled virtual world will be replaced by “Goblin mode”, “a type of behavior which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy.”
The Oxford University Press group picked metaverse as the runner-up to Goblin mode as the word of the year in 2022.
Oxford Languages declared on December 4 that “Goblin mode” had surpassed metaverse and millions of other words of becoming their 2022 word of the year. However according Oxford’s analysis, use of the phrase metaverse “increased almost fourfold from the previous year in the Oxford Corpus,” primarily due to the October 2021 rebranding of Facebook as Meta.
Metaverse lost top spot to ‘Goblin mode,’ a phrase that went viral in February and “captured the prevailing mood of individuals who rejected the idea of returning to ‘normal life’” following COVID lockdowns being lifted in many areas. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, hashtags on social media including #IStandWithUkraine boosted #IStandWith to third place in the contest.
“As we grapple with relatively new concepts like hybrid working in the virtual reality space, metaverse is particularly pertinent to debates about the ethics and feasibility of an entirely online future,” said Oxford Languages. “A worthy opponent to ‘goblin mode’, ‘metaverse’ gained voting traction with crypto communities and publications. We see the term continue to grow in use as more voices join the debate about the sustainability and viability of its future.”