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The words that marked 2023

New international conflicts, an escalation of violence against women, destructive fires and a climate emergency. But also technological innovations and artificial intelligence. 2023 was a year full of events: the experts of Babbelsa language learning platform, have selected some of the words that tell us about the months that have passed.


It is the “wild fire”, the “untamed fire”. This term is used in the Anglo-Saxon world to define fires, in particular forest fires. This year, especially in the months of July and August, many areas of the Mediterranean, including Greece and Italy, have been devastated by the flames. July 2023 was the hottest month ever recorded globally, with the average global temperature exceeding 17 degrees Celsius for the first time in history. Even the oceans and seas have experienced a annus horribilis: again in July, the waters of the Mediterranean reached a surface temperature of 30 degrees, 5% above average, putting the balance that characterizes marine ecosystems at serious risk.

State of emergency

In 2023 there were severe floods in numerous regions of Italy, including Emilia Romagna, Tuscany and Marche. The impact of these floods was such as to require the declaration, for twelve months starting from August, of the “state of emergency”, a special legal condition which allows the use of extraordinary measures to protect citizens and repair the damage.

War fatigue

Literally “war fatigue”. In recent months this expression has begun to appear in the international media in connection with the war in Ukraine, and refers to progressive disinterest on the part of the West regarding the fate of Ukraine: almost two years after the Russian invasion, many citizens fear they will no longer be able to count on the promised support.


Literally “ceasefire”: this English expression was adopted throughout the world following theIsrael and Hamas are making the war worse in the autumn of 2023. Those calling for a “ceasefire” are calling for all military activities to be suspended for a certain period of time in the conflict-affected area. This measure can be declared unilaterally or negotiated between the parties to the conflict and aims to guarantee peace, at least temporarily.

«Mom, destroy everything»

“If tomorrow it’s me, mother, if I don’t come back tomorrow, destroy everything”: this is how the poem by Peruvian activist Cristina Torre Càceres goes, which went viral in mid-November in reaction to the news of the death of twenty-two-year-old Giulia Cecchettin, killed by her ex-boyfriend Filippo Turetta. This murder was the 103rd femicide recorded in Italy in 2023 and pushed activists, especially women, to ask for the immediate commitment of the government and citizens in countering this systemic phenomenon deeply rooted in society.


2023 was the year of the media boom ofartificial intelligence, with the launch of numerous new tools made accessible to the public and the consequent spread of a large quantity of neologisms. Among these, the term deepfake made the rounds on the web when synthetic videos and images digitally manipulated to convincingly replace the likeness of one person with those of another began to appear online.


On May 6, 2023, seventy years after his mother’s death, the coronation of King Charles III, ruler of the United Kingdom and the other 14 Commonwealth realms, was able to attract worldwide attention.


On June 18, 2023, all traces of the Titan submarine with five people on board, between crew and tourists, headed to explore the wreck of the Titanic, about four kilometers below sea level. In the days before the discovery of the first remains attributable to the US company’s submarine OceanGatewhich occurred almost a week after his disappearance, the world’s media meticulously documented the search for him.

JJ4, Amarena and Bambotto

The bears JJ4 and Amarena and the deer Bambotto were the protagonists of some episodes that reignited discussions on the coexistence between wild animals and humans. In April this year the JJ4 bear, to protect her cubs, attacked and fatally injured a runner in Trentino-Alto Adige; after the protests of the environmentalist and anti-speciesist movements, some alternative options to culling are still being evaluated, such as transfer to another country. The Amarena bear and the Bambotto deer, well known by their respective local communities for their docility, were instead victims of brutal killings in Abruzzo and Veneto in autumn 2023, arousing the dismay of much of public opinion.

Source: Vanity Fair

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