The Collins Dictionary crowned the amazing year NFTs had. According to the UK-based dictionary, “NFT” was the most important word of 2021. There’s no denying that the NFT phenomenon grew immensely this year, and not even Ethereum gas fees and environmental FUD could deter its trajectory. Congratulations to all the artists and businessmen that managed to benefit from the growth, and take Collins Dictionary’s acknowledgment as if it was yours.
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How Does Collins Dictionary Define NFT?
On the Word of The Year page, Collins offers a simple and elegant definition:
“‘NFT’, the abbreviation of ‘non-fungible token’, the unique digital identifier that records ownership of a digital asset which has entered the mainstream and seen millions spent on the most sought-after images and videos, has been named Collins Word of the Year 2021.
It is one of three tech-based words to make Collins’ longer list of ten words of the year, which includes seven words brand new to CollinsDictionary.com.”
The other tech-based words were “crypto” and “metaverse,” so you know NFT had some fierce competition in 2021. The abbreviation of “cryptocurrency” seems like a bigger and wider concept. And it might’ve been even more everpresent than “NFT.” However, it didn’t have the novel factor. On the other hand, “metaverse” did have the novel factor but it came too late into the race. When facebook announced that the company was changing its name to “meta,” it was already too late. Mark Zuckerberg commanded headlines with those clumsy and cringy videos, but it didn’t help. NFTs had already won the year.
Digging deeper into NFTs, the Collins Dictionary’s blog expanded on the concept and provided an example:
“Unique” is important here — it’s a one-off, not “fungible” or replaceable by any other piece of data. And what’s really captured the public’s imagination around NFTs is the use of this technology to sell art. For example, the rights to a work by the surrealist digital artist Beeple sold at Christie’s in March for $69m. Called EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS, it was a collage of all the images he’d created since he committed in 2007 to making one every day.”
The history of this UK-based publication goes way back:
“Collins dictionary publishing began in 1824, with the publication of Donnegan’s Greek and English Lexicon in partnership with Smith Elder. In 1840, the first in the series of Collins Illustrated Dictionaries was published alongside the Sixpenny Pocket Pronouncing Dictionary which went onto sell approximately 1 million copies. 20 years later and with the addition of steam presses, Collins could publish dictionaries in all sizes, prices and bindings.”
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The organization has been declaring a Word Of The Year since 1990. It’s a newer phenomenon so, from the beginning, there’s a strong link to technology. In 1993, the WOTY was “information superhighway”; it was “cyber” in 94, and “web” in 95. When it came to 1997 it was “millennium bug,” and it was the prefix “e-” in 98. Of course, it was “Y2K” in 99. Recently, though, Collins Dictionary has been concerned with social movements and gender identities. Last year, of course, it was “Covid,” and in 2021 the tech world took back the throne with “NFT.”
Featured Image: Collins Dictionary WOTY site | Charts by TradingView