Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam Webster, believes people are drawn to the dictionary for intellectual comfort—that cathartic moment when you find a definition that perfectly articulates something you have been wanting to express.
《韦氏词典》专题编辑彼得·索科洛夫斯基认为,人们之所以会去查词典,是因为它能让自己的大脑感到很舒适——在你想要表达些什么,而词典上的某个定义又完美地诠释了你心之所想时,你会瞬间有种畅快感。

In 2016, it appears that definition came under the heading of surreal for many people—a word that English speakers habitually turn to in unbelievable times, and Merriam-Webster’s choice for the "Word of the Year."
2016年,好像对很多人来说这个定义就写在“surreal(超现实)”一词后面——这个词既是人们在这个不可思议的时代会习惯性使用的词,也是《韦氏词典》选出的“年度词汇”。

surreal, adjective: marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream
surreal:形容词,特指梦中才有的极度不合理的现实状况

Modern dictionary makers have the ability to know what humanity is struggling to understand at any given moment, by tracking spikes in the words that are being looked up; we may turn to Google to search for anything, but we turn to the dictionary to search for meaning. A definition that fits just right, says Sokolowski "actually brings some kind of order to somebody's life in that moment," and surreal is a word people turn to when they're trying to bring order to "the chaos of the news."
通过追踪查阅率大幅上升的词汇,现代词典编篡者可以得知人类在任何时刻正苦于思索些什么;我们可能会用谷歌去搜索各种东西,但会用词典去查找涵义。索科洛夫斯基说,一个恰如其分的定义,“实际上会在那时那刻为某人的生活赋予某种秩序”,而人们想从“新闻中的混乱事件”里找到秩序时,就会去查“surreal”这个词。

Merriam-Webster's is the third of four major "Word of the Year" selections. The American Dialect Society, which basically invented this tradition, won't make its pick until January. But the other two that have been announced so far also reflect the tumult of 2016. Oxford chose post-truth to sum up "a year dominated by highly-charged political and social discourse" and marked by distrust. Dictionary.com chose xenophobia because there were so many fears raised about so many "others."
《韦氏词典》选出的词是四大“年度词汇”中的第三个。大概是美国方言学会发起的这种传统,但他们要到1月份才会选词。但另外两家已经公布的词也反应了2016年的动荡。《牛津词典》挑选“post-truth(后真相)”来总结“由政治和社会讨论主宰的一年”,其特点是信任缺失。Dictionary.com挑选了“xenophobia(惧外症)”,因为有那么多的“其他人”引发了那么多的恐慌。

Among runners-up for Merriam-Webster were bigly (which spiked because people misheard Donald Trump's repeated use of big-league), deplorable (thanks to one of Hillary Clinton's biggest gaffes of the election) and revenant (courtesy of Leonardo DiCaprio and a bear).
《韦氏词典》选出的其它词汇还包括“bigly”(因为人们把唐纳德•特朗普反复使用的“big-league(大实话联盟)”听成了“bigly”,该词的查阅率飞涨)、“deplorable(极其恶劣的)”(来自希拉里•克林顿选举中最严重的无礼失言之一),还有“revenant(归来者,也就是《荒野猎人》的片名)”(要感谢小李子和一头熊)。

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