Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New words of 2006

Apart from the words to be found in Susie Dent's 'The Like Language Report for Real' published in autumn 2006 (Amazon link, some of which were discussed on the Radio 4 Today programme this morning (and alternatives with Michael Rosen on the Word of Mouth programme repeated yesterday at 4pm; you can listen again to both on the BBC R4 website, is the homepage address, then use the A-Z listing to reach the programmes wanted, and follow the prompts to listen again), here are some not particularly serious/legitimate coinages of the year, reported in the Observer just before Christmas, taken from Newsweek magazine in the first section:

Brokeback Marriage n. Thanks to Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal and their celebrated screen tragedy, this describes a union between a gay man and a straight woman or a gay married man having an affair.
Celebutard n. A celebrity widely perceived as unintelligent. We're not naming any names, Paris Hilton.
Civil War n. Not a new term, but Iraq's 'sectarian violence' - to use George W Bush's preferred phrase - had people asking, is it or isn't it?
Fed-Ex n. So long, K-Fed. The tabloids found a new name for Kevin Federline after his break-up with Britney Spears.
Liquid Terror n. Coined after terrorists plotted to board planes in London with liquid explosives.
Season Creep n. Spring came early and summer lasted longer. What's to blame? Most say global warming.
Wikiality n. based on consensus rather than fact. The popularity of the online encyclopedia, which the public writes and edits, gave rise to the term.
Taken from the Observer, 24.12.06; here’s the link:,,329670651-102280,00.html

Another piece from the same edition's magazine; you’ll notice some overlap:
Five other new words for 2006
Truthiness: Supposed truth felt 'in the gut'; the quality of preferring 'facts' wished to be true rather than those supported by reality. Truthiness was recently chosen as word of the year by the American Dialect Society (and, as noted on Word of Mouth, by the American Merrill-Webster dictionary)
Jagshemash!: A welcoming enquiry made by Sacha Baron-Cohen in the guise of Borat Sagdiyev. It appears to derive from how-are-yous said in several East European countries. One might say 'Jagshemash! I like you. Do you like me? We make a sexy time?'
Celebutard: A celebrity who is, or is thought to be, unintelligent. Thought to have derived from the NY Times in an article about Paris Hilton, 'celebutard' coupled celebrity (or the later celebutante) and retard, and has since come to be used in reference to any person finding fame without having a high IQ. One might say 'Dunst, of course, portrayed Marie Antoinette as an 18th-century celebutard'. (Oh dear, they don't like Paris H. at the Observer, do they?!)
No noising: 'Quiet please!' Considered the top Chinglish (Chinese-English) words of 2006, 'No noising' originally appeared on signs in Chinese libraries
Polska zywnosc: 'Polish food'. A simple message, often misspelt, which is attached to shop windows to note that there are Polish products on sale inside
John Hind contributed this second section. Happy new year from Cornwall!

Connections between texts on Paper 1: dealing with AO4

Question 3 on Paper 1 has often been a bit of a low-scorer for students and you can maybe see why. It comes an hour in to the exam, and you’...