Today’s Solutions: April 12, 2024

As 2023 bids us farewell, we take a lovely linguistic detour, examining not only what we’ve talked about, but also how we’ve expressed it. Enter the Oxford Word of the Year, a fragment of vocabulary that captures our conversation. And what about the prize for 2023? It’s “rizz,” a noun sparkling with “style, charm, or attractiveness” and the knack for drawing a romantic or sexual partner.

The Oxford University Press, which is in charge of this language parade, describes it as a period of “personal and professional PR.” It’s about seizing attention—a charm-laden “rizz.” “It’s from the heart of ‘charisma,’ an unusual word formation pattern,” the Oxford Monitor Corpus of English explains.

The rise of ‘Rizz’ and the influence of Tom Holland

According to linguistic archives, ‘rizz’ appeared in late 2022 and remained in the spotlight during the summer of 2023. Its meteoric rise to fame? Tom Holland, the actor, was an unexpected contributor. “I have no rizz whatsoever, I have limited rizz,” the Spider-Man phenomenon admitted in a Buzzfeed interview. Paddy, my brother, has the best rizz.”

Casper Grathwohl, president of Oxford Languages, reflects on the language’s meteoric rise: “It’s the sheer joy of pronunciation.” It offers a little bit of happiness.”

A victory among notable rivals

In its ascension to Word of the Year honors, ‘rizz’ defeated a strong field of contenders, each a vignette of the year’s stories. “Prompt,” which steers AI programs, “situationship,” which navigates the intricacies of modern relationships, and “swiftie,” a tribute to Taylor Swift’s dedicated audience, were among them.

While 2022’s “goblin mode” sank into obscurity, 2018’s robust “toxic” continued its linguistic conquest. The fate of ‘rizz,’ which has been cultivated by Gen Z’s linguistic aptitude, awaits the test of time, ready to etch its place in the cultural fabric.

In the colorful world of language, ‘rizz’ twirls with the promise of enduring novelty, leaving a sprightly imprint on our linguistic landscape.

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