"Microplástico", the voice that designates the small fragments of plastic that have become one of the main threats to the environment and the health of human beings, has been chosen word of the year 2018 by the Fundéu BBVA.
This is the sixth occasion in which the Urgent Spanish Foundation, promoted by Agencia Efe and BBVA, announces its word of the year, chosen from those terms that have been present to a greater or lesser extent in the news during the last months and have, in addition, interest from the linguistic point of view.
After choosing "escrache" in 2013, "selfi" in 2014, "refugee" in 2015, "populism" in 2016 and "aporophobia" in 2017, the team of the Foundation has opted on this occasion for "microplástico", a term that puts the accent on the awareness of one of the great environmental problems that humanity faces.
The microplastics are small fragments of plastic (less than five millimeters) that were either already manufactured with that size to be used in cleaning and hygiene products, or they have been fragmented from a larger plastic (shopping bags, containers of all kinds …) during its decomposition process.
Its presence in the sand of the beaches, in the organisms of the animals, in the sea salt that we consume and even in the water that we drink has set off the alarms and has forced to put in place measures to reduce the consumption of the plastics of only one use, responsible for a good part of the problem.
From the linguistic point of view, the Fundéu dedicated one of its daily recommendations to this term, which, although it does not appear in most Spanish dictionaries yet, is well formed from the compositional element "micro-" and the noun "plastic".
In that recommendation, the Foundation recalled that, as is generally the case with words formed with compositional elements, these they are written together with the voice they accompany, without leaving a space in between or inserting a script (not "micro plastic" or "micro-plastic").
"When a few weeks ago we started the process to choose the twelve candidates for the word of the year 2018, we found that, without intending it, most of the terms that seemed most appropriate to define somehow the year that ends were the social field ('mena', 'los nadie', 'micromachismo') or environmental ('microplástico', 'descarbonizar', 'hybridise' …) ", explains the CEO of the Fundéu BBVA, Joaquín Muller.
"We believe that this selection shows in some way the profile of a year in which, in addition to the major political and economic issues, we are all turning our attention to other matters of enormous importance that are sometimes eclipsed by other major media headlines. of communication ", he adds.
If you review the recommendations issued by the Foundation of Urgent Spanish, inspired in most cases by the doubts and inquiries of media professionals, there are dozens of terms related to the environment: "ecocide", "lengthening" , "ecoimpostura" or "ecopostureo", "espigar", "esmog", "Earth Hour" … "
"So it's not uncommon that among the candidates for the word of the year there were several from that area or that the one finally chosen was 'microplastic,'" Muller says.
Before announcing the final decision, the Foundation published a list of twelve finalist words in which, in addition to those cited ("microplástico", "descabonizar", "hybridize", "mena", "los nadie" and "micromachismo" "), voices such as" VAR "," sobreturismo "," procrastinar "," tariff "," dataismo "and" nacionalpopulismo "appeared. EFE