Children just as obsessed as adults by Brexit, Ronaldo and Trump, experts say – Sky News

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Children just as obsessed as adults by Brexit, Ronaldo and Trump, experts say – Sky News

Brexit has been dubbed the “children’s word of the year” after it was used more than 400 times by youngsters entering a short story competition.

And in another sign that they share their parents’ obsessions, superstar footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is the top mentioned real person, followed by US President Donald Trump, Adolf Hitler and England captain Harry Kane.

Brexit cropped up 418 times in entries to BBC Radio Two’s 500 Words competition for children aged five to 13.

Cristiano Ronaldo

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Cristiano Ronaldo is the most mentioned real person

That was an increase of more than 300% on 2018, while mentions of Theresa May, the outgoing prime minister, went up from 118 to 287.

It prompted Oxford University Press, whose experts analyse thousands of entries each year, to make Brexit the “children’s word of the year”.

The candidate in Peru is named after Adolf Hitler

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Former German leader Adolf Hitler, the architect of Nazism, also features

Oxford University Press director of publishing operations Helen Freeman said: “What is an extremely complex and difficult issue for some of the finest political minds has inspired children’s creativity and inventiveness in a really interesting and smart way.”

Given that titles include The Cat Who Solved Brexit, Aliens In Brexit and A Unicorn Called Brexit, it may be that their entries are low on real-life solutions, however.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 04: (L-R) British Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump arrive at 10 Downing street for a meeting on the second day of the U.S. President and First Lady's three-day State visit on June 4, 2019 in London, England.

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Theresa May and Donald Trump are among those who influenced the stories entered

Ms Freeman said Brexit was “mostly referred to as a boring subject parents talked about, as something in the background” in 2017 and 2018.

“This year it is a very different picture,” she said. “Brexit is front and centre of the action, with children swooping in to help Theresa May in a proactive, empowered and fun way.”

Even Brexit must tip its cap to sloths, however, as the animals were mentioned 1,100 times, while unicorns ride roughshod over the world’s slowest mammals with 15,000 mentions.

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England captain Harry Kane is among the most frequently mentioned people

Technology is clearly big in youngsters’ lives, as illustrated by the frequent mentions of digital assistants such as Alexa and Siri.

Veggie and vegan were also used more, and plastic, the 2018 word of the year, saw a further rise.

This year’s competition, hosted by Zoe Ball’s Breakfast Show with Oxford University Press, received 112,986 entries.