Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Plenty of words for your honk

A level English Language students often complain that they don't get as many trips out of college or school as Literature or Drama or Classical Civilisation or even lowly Geography students. And this is probably true. But you get so much more excitement in your lessons as payback. For example, who could not get excited about relative clauses and present perfect verb phrases? Exactly.

Anyway, now there is a chance for you to go on a proper English Language outing and it might even be fun. This man - Alex Horne - is doing a stand-up comedy show around the country all about his attempts to get a load of made-up words into the dictionary. His website explains a bit more about it as does this post by MacMillan Dictionaries lexicographer, Kerry Maxwell, but the basic idea is that he has decided to plant "linguistic seeds" and see if they'll grow into widely-used terms. The words and phrases are here, along with explanations of how he wants them to be used (which word class they are and what they mean in context), but some examples are honk for money, games as a term of derision a bit like some people use "jokes" ("that's proper games that is", or "you're games") or the one that seems to be catching several people's imagination below:

mental safari (to go on)
idiom (slang). When someone goes mad for a few moments or gets ridiculously tongue tied, or does a series of rash acts. Over the past year it seems, Harry Redknapp has been on a mental safari, prior to his return to Fratton Park. Original and rare invention.

He appears in London towards the end of April and you can get more info from his website.

Getting the Word Out 2022

WOTY (Word of the Year) Season is in full swing and the lists from the various dictionaries and organisations who produce them, along with t...