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发表于 2018-1-13 13:30:34 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
  What does it mean to be complicit?
          If you're a frequent user of Dictionary.com, chances are you already know.
The online dictionary reported multiple spikes in lookups for “complicit” over
the past several months — and ultimately chose the adjective as its word of the
year for 2017.
          “As 2017 comes to a close, it's time for us to reflect on the words that
impacted all of us this year,” Dictionary.com said in announcing its decision
Monday. “The word complicit has sprung up in conversations this year about those
who speak out against powerful figures and institutions and about those who stay
          Dictionary.com defines “complicit” as “choosing to be involved in an
illegal or questionable act, especially with others; having partnership or
involvement in wrongdoing.” And according to the dictionary, complicity — or in
some cases, the refusal to be complicit — was pertinent to some of the biggest
news topics of the year, from politics to National Football League players'
anthem protests to the outpouring of personal experiences with sexual harassment
and assault using the hashtag #MeToo.
          “We chose our Word of the Year, in part, because of noteworthy stories of
those who have refused to be complicit,” the dictionary said. “In the face of
oppression and wrongdoing, this refusal to be complicit has been a grounding
force of 2017.”
          Two of the three spikes in searches for “complicit” on Dictionary.com
involved Ivanka Trump, the oldest daughter of President Trump and a current
White House senior adviser. The first came March 12, the day after “Saturday
Night Live” aired a sketch featuring “Ivanka Trump” (played by Scarlett
Johansson) in a mock commercial for a fake perfume called “Complicit.”
          “She's beautiful. She's powerful. She's . . . complicit,” a narrator purrs
in a voice-over for the commercial, as Johansson-as-Ivanka glides around a
formal reception in a rose gold sequined gown.
          “Complicit: The fragrance for the woman who could stop all this, but
won't,” the commercial concludes. “Also available in a cologne for Jared.”
          The following day, searches for “complicit” increased 10,000 percent on
Dictionary.com. Rival online dictionary Merriam-Webster also reported a spike in
lookups for the word after the SNL sketch, which has more than 8 million views
on YouTube.
          Dictionary.com's second Ivanka Trump-related spike occurred after an April
television interview in which the first daughter defended herself against the
          “If being complicit is wanting to, is wanting to be a force of good and to
make a positive impact, then I’m complicit,” she said in an interview. “I don't
know that the critics who may say that of me, if they found themselves in this
very unique and unprecedented situation that I am now in, would do any
differently than I am doing.”
          She added: “I don't know what it means to be complicit. But you know, I
hope time will prove that I have done a good job and, much more importantly,
that my father's administration is the success I know it will be.”
          After the interview aired, searches for complicit spiked 11,000 percent,
according to Dictionary.com.
          The third-largest spike in lookups for the word took place Oct. 24, after
Sen. Jeff Flake announced that he would not be seeking reelection in 2018. In
his retirement speech, Flake pushed back against Trump's presidency, as well as
the divisive brand of politics:
          It must also be said that I rise today with no small measure of regret.
Regret, because of the state of our disunion, regret because of the disrepair
and destructiveness of our politics, regret because of the indecency of our
discourse , regret because of the coarseness of our leadership, regret for the
compromise of our moral authority, and by our — all of our — complicity in this
alarming and dangerous state of affairs. It is time for our complicity and our
accommodation of the unacceptable to end.
          Flake continued later: “The principles that underlie our politics, the
values of our founding, are too vital to our identity and to our survival to
allow them to be compromised by the requirements of politics. Because politics
can make us silent when we should speak, and silence can equal complicity. I
have children and grandchildren to answer to, and so, Mr. President, I will not
be complicit.”
          The word also made an appearance in other noteworthy political stories this
year. When members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities
resigned en masse in August, in protest of Trump’s response to the violence in
Charlottesville , they wrote in an open letter to the president: “Your words and
actions push us all further away from the freedoms we are guaranteed. Ignoring
your hateful rhetoricwould have made us complicit in your words and
          Like many other online dictionaries, including Merriam-Webster and Oxford ,
Dictionary.com's “word of the year” does not have to be new or one that had the
most lookups. Instead, it is meant to be a word that “embodies a major theme
resonating deeply in the cultural consciousness.” Last year, the dictionary
chose “xenophobia,” or the “fear or hatred of foreigners, people from different
cultures, or strangers.”
          The cultural consciousness was no less dark through the eyes of those over
at Oxford Dictionaries (which chose “post-truth” as its word of the year in
2016, after its use skyrocketed during a contentious “Brexit” referendum and a
divisive U.S. presidential election) and at Merriam-Webster (where “surreal”
edged out “fascism” to be the 2016 pick).
          Compare that to 2015, when Oxford Dictionaries chose an emoji — the
laughing-crying one — as its word of the year for the first time. If
Dictionary.com's choice is any indication, we're a long way off from the
laughing-crying emoji.
          “As many of you know from looking up the definition of complicit, there's
nothing positive or good about it,” Dictionary.com said. “In fact, being
complicit is decidedly negative, as it means that a person is involved with
something that's wrong. Whatever your politics, this meaning is not up for

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