13 non-COVID buzzwords for the arts in 2020

Our language tells us a lot about who we are, so what did 2020 say, outside the trending COVID-slang?

The year 2020 had barely started before it ended, thanks to a pandemic.

Understandably, a vocabulary was fast to follow. Words like ‘quarantine’, ‘social distancing’, #isocraft became the norm this year… as did the ‘new normal’.

The Collins dictionary went with ‘lockdown’ as word of the year, the Australian National Dictionary Centre with ‘iso’ (aka isolation), Merriam-Webster’s chose ‘pandemic’, Macquarie broke the trend a little with ‘doomscrolling’, while the Oxford dictionary decided the year was so ‘unprecedented’ it couldn’t possibly rest on a single word this year, and published an entire list.

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Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina