Which word best summarizes the general sentiment of a country’s population? In search of an answer, various countries in the world carry out annual surveys to hear from their respective populations.
The Word of the Year has been a tradition in the West since the 1970s, when the Society of German Language decided to pick the word that best summarized the spirit of the age. Since then, the idea has spread throughout the world and includes distinct selection processes. In the US and England, for example, Oxford Dictionary is one of the institutions that picks the word of the year. Here in Brazil, the consultancy Cause took up the challenge and picked IDEIA to create and execute the survey to figure out what best represented the opinion of Brazilians. “The Word of the Year gave us insight into general public sentiment and because of this became an important reference for us to understand the spirit of the age,” affirms the president of IDEIA, Maurício Moura.
The first edition of Word of the Year in Brazil was in 2016, but it was in 2017 that IDEIA was chosen by Cause for the first time. Since then, IDEIA has continued to carry out the surveys.
In 2017, IDEIA heard the opinions of more than 9,000 people throughout all of Brazil. In the first stage of research, more than one thousand different words were spontaneously cited. “IDEIA opted to activate their digital panel that, at the time, contained more than 680 thousand active users in the database. Today, we have more than 1 million people,” highlights Maurício. From the 40 words most cited, specialists chose five finalists that proceeded to a new popular voting round which ended up choosing the word “corruption” as the winner.
Then in 2018, the finalists were determined after two surveys within a representative universe carried out in the first and second semesters, totalling 3,481 responses. Specialists again chose the five finalists and a new popular survey that was statistically weighted was carried out. The resulting selection of the word “change” was chosen by 34% of the audience, which was representative of the Brazilian population as a whole. In total, the undertaking received more than 5 thousand responses and close to 600 different words.
The Word of the Year, in both 2017 and 2018, was widely shared in the media, including Globo News, Estadão, Terra, Correio Braziliense, Gazeta do Povo, Catraca Livre, G1, O Dia, and others. Check it out!