The Sawyerean Language Institute (Itenstatuol Dommun Søerjehn) has already decided the word of the year, three months earlier than expected.
Social media has already been aflood with messages and comments of “condolences” this year.
The year 2016 has been so very deadly. The death trail has actually started late 2015, and it was then thought to be part of the Charlottians’ attempts to ruin Christmas. It has even been once estimated that it would rival that of the 2004 Death streak.
We were wrong.
The early days of January has been so very morbid, as well as the following months. Most of the dead had been musicians and actors, and many music lovers freaked out with the very unusually high death rates among celebirities.
The BBC has already decided last April to make its year-ender obituary extended up to an hour from its usual thirty-minute length.
Among the deaths are pop idols David Bowie and Prince; actor Alan Rickman (known for his role in Harry Potter films as Severus Snape); directors Wenn Deramas and Francis Pasion; politicians Miriam Defensor Santiago of the Philippines and Shimon Perez of Israel; and lately the beloved Thai monarch King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Philippine political atmosphere had not helped either. Since Rodrigo R. Duterte stepped in as President of the country, the war on drugs had become so brutal. More than three thousand individuals accused of being involved in drugs had been killed, and a large fraction of them were murdered by vigilantes. Police had been accused of unlawfully killing them, and when most common reason of killing was “nanlaban” (they fought).
Unfortunately, there had been handful of individuals, who had not been involved in drugs at all (and supported by postmortem medical examination) were killed as well. Collateral damage, they said. Toddlers as young as four, honor students, scholars and vacationing Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are among the dead.
In social media, it seemed that almost every group has at least one member who had a family member, if not themselves, dying. And the outpouring of ‘condolence’ messages. The young are not safe either: while some had died of illness or accidents, others were meaninglessly murdered.
Because of these, the Sawyerean Language Institute has decided that the Word of the Year in this Year of the Death or Year of the Devil, is “kiramyo”, which, in English, means “condolence”.