Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Lexical innovation

If you are studying Language Change for either ENGA3 (A spec) or ENGB3 (B spec) one of your most useful points of reference should be the Macmillan Dictionaries Buzzword pages. Every week, lexicographer and linguist Kerry Maxwell posts a new word or phrase that's recently appeared on the radar and talks about its origins and formation process. The words are logged in a very useful archive too, so you can see way back to the dawn of time (17th February 2003, to be precise) when textual harassment was all the rage or look at them alphabetically where you'll find at the top of the list a handy guide to the top 12 new words of 2010.

Kerry has done sessions at SFX for teachers and students in the last few years and her stuff is always clear, interesting and accessible for A level, so don't be scared. And remember that if you are doing anything on new words for your exam (or even your coursework intervention/media text) examiners and moderators get bored of the same old examples (Smog and motel are blends? Well I never!) and would much rather see some funky* new words that will really float their boats, and stuff.

*I know it's an old world. I'm sorry. I'm getting old.

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’...