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If ever there was a word that gets the entire country’s attention, it’s load-shedding and this year it definitely got the attention of the Pan South African Language Board.

Load-shedding has been chosen as the 2022 South African Word of the Year.

The noun was described as: The deliberate shutdown of electronic power in a part of parts of a power-distribution system, generally to prevent the failure of the entire system when the demand strains the capacity of the system.

The announcement of the chosen word of the year was announced by the Board’s CEO, Mr Lance Schultz.

His statement said that “it should come as no surprise to many South Africans that load-shedding has been the most used word/term in South Africa as the dreaded rolling blackouts instituted by Eskom have largely defined our lived experience in 2022”.

Although a clear winner, the other words shortlisted for the prize were Inganekwane, Gaslighting, Zenophobia and Phala-Phala.

News24 reports that candidates for SA Word of the Year were reviewed and shortlisted by the Board. Then, then a media research company tracks the keywords between October 2021 to September 2022. This media data was analysed to determine the prominence of the keywords within the media and to identify the frequency with which they were used in credible print, broadcast and online media.

Image credit: DFA

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