Thursday, June 09, 2005

Squeaky bum time

No, not the feeling you get as you watch the days roll by, nervously waiting for your A2 exams, but the expression coined by Sir Alex of Ferguson (manager of some little-known, unsuccessful, Lancashire team, I hear) to describe the run-in to the title race in the season before last.

It's that time again when writers for national newspapers catch up on the latest new words. And the reason? Collins English Dictionary send them a nice press release about their latest edition, so lazy journalists can cobble together an easy story on "chavs", "neds" and "ASBOs".

More usefully for students of English Language, we get to take a look at the attitudes of the media towards these "new" words (I mean, "chav" is soooo 2004) and how these words are seen to reflect the nature of our society.

So, here is a Daily Mirror article which views the introduction of words like those mentioned above as a reflection of Briatin's burgeoning yob culture, while here's a BBC article which includes the more positive outlook that these new words "...portray a vibrant, multicultural society finding new ways to express itself and describe the world around it".

Useful for:
ENA5 Language Change (esp. essay question on Contemporary Language Change)
ENA1 Language and Representation (esp. linguistic reflectionism)
ENA6 Language Debates (attitudes towards language change, debates about language and society)


hannah said...

What exactly is the meaning of 'Squeaky Bum Time'???

Dan said...

Wasn't it something Alex Ferguson said when he felt the pressure getting to him.

I'd read it as being to do with tension of keeping your buttocks clenched when you're worried you're going to let a big fart go!