The unprecedented use of the word ‘unprecedented’ in recent weeks is now unprecedented, according to Oxford English Dictionary researcher Simon Williams.
“We’ve seen unprecedented exponential growth in the use of the word ‘unprecedented’,” Williams explained.
“We’ve never seen such unprecedented use of the word ‘unprecedented’.
Using the best computer modelling techniques at his disposal, Williams has predicted that the unprecedented peak of the use of the word ‘unprecedented’ might come in late April or early May, though there may be an unprecedented second peak later in the year.
Giving an example, Williams explained that because of the unprecedented nature of the growth of the use of the word ‘unprecedented’, the unprecedented postponement of a major sporting tournament wasn’t even the most unprecedented use of the word ‘unprecedented’ that morning.
Every year, the Oxford English Dictionary announces its word of the year, which in previous years have been words like ‘youthquake’, ‘vape’ or ‘selfie’.
When asked whether ‘unprecedented’ might make an unprecedented appearance as word of the year for 2020, Williams replied, “No. That’s going to be ‘fuuuuuuuuuck’.”