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The COVID-19 pandemic forced all of us to pivot our interactions into virtual formats, such as Zoom and Slack. As pandemic restrictions eased in 2022, the return to face-to-face interactions increased. This is why the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Department of English has selected the 2022 Word of the Year for Hawaiʻi as in-person.

“Returning to mostly ‘in-person’ classes and gatherings on campus has deepened our appreciation for how being together in the same space strengthens our personal and professional connections,” said John David Zuern, UH Mānoa Department of English acting chair and professor. “A contender for our choice of the Word of the Year was ‘micro-affections,’ the small, but important ways we affirm each other in our everyday interactions. They’re certainly possible in virtual environments, but they tend to feel more spontaneous and authentic when we’re passing students in the hallways or dropping into our colleagues’ offices. We hope the easing of pandemic restrictions is helping everyone in the wider community reaffirm the value of their relationships.”

Merriam-Webster selected gaslighting as its 2022 Word of the Year. The 2021 Hawaiʻi Word of the Year was care.

More about the Department of English

UH Mānoa’s English department offers a comprehensive curriculum in English studies at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students are able to pursue study in creative writing, composition and rhetoric, literary studies and cultural studies. Composition and rhetoric classes include place-based writing and Indigenous and digital rhetoric. Students can take creative writing classes in poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. Literature and cultural studies courses offered range from Hawaiian and local literature to Shakespeare, American literature and Asian American film. For more about the UH Mānoa Department of English and its programs of study, visit its website.

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