Monday, June 06, 2011

From BOLO to ZOMG

The latest list of new additions to Oxford Dictionaries Online is a veritable smorgasbord of delights. You can find new words linked to the global economic crash, so you get casino banking and the bunch of banksters who got us into it. You get words and phrases to do with fashion and lifestyle - mani-pedi and awareness bracelet - but above all you get masses and masses of words to do with new technology - breadcrumb trail, NSFW and permalink being obvious examples.

The range of word formation processes is interesting too, with plenty of blends (bridezilla) and compounds (lifehack), a whole load of affixation taking place (cyber-, perma- and eco- being popular prefixes), and the odd shortening with silly addition at end (laptop becomes lappy).

The full list is here and the accompanying article here.

Edited to add: there's a piece by Lucy Tobin in yesterday's Evening Standard, featuring some dubious commentary from a certain "language researcher" at UCL. Is posting this here, the definition of egosurfing? I'm not sure I quite get why it's newlogism rather than neologism...

3 comments:

Language student said...

Hi, just a quick question. Wasn't sure where to post this but I'm wondering how much extra terminology there is at A2 Level. I know all the grammatical terms from AS Level plus the main linguistic frameworks and I have memorised the terms which describe word formation processes and changes in the meanings of words (amelioration, pejoration etc).
Are there any other terms that it is vital to learn or will these be ok? Just wondered if there's a glossary or something...

Dan said...

Hi, I don't think there's much more to add to what was in A2, beyond what you've mentioned, but I think the main difference is that you're expected to engage with the ideas and arguments more.

I think that any wider reading about language discourses will really help, so if you have time and the inclination try to read some of the following (or extracts from them): Jean Aitchison's The Language Web (esp. A Web of Worries), Deborah Cameron's The Myth of Mars and Venus, David Crystal's The Fight For English and Henry Hitchings' The Language Wars.

I'll add some bits and pieces to the blog this week and next, but I also have some stuff that I can't put up (not yet published/copyrighted) so if you want to email me via this link I'll send you some things that might help: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/english-usage/staff/dan

Language student said...

Thanks, that's a weight off my mind as I was worrying that I haven't learnt enough terminology beyond my AS knowledge. I've sent an email to you.