Charlotte Buxton

Charlotte Buxton is an Associate Editor for Oxford Dictionaries.

Articles by Charlotte Buxton

A unicorn is a start-up company valued at more than a billion dollars

Unicorns are real (but not what you think)

There has been a spate of unicorn sightings around the offices of Oxford Dictionaries recently. Don’t worry – we haven’t been overdoing it on the glitter and stardust. These unicorns come from the altogether more serious realm of finance. What is a 21st-century unicorn? In the world of big business, a unicorn is a start-up […]

Cliven and Ammon Bundy speaking at a forum hosted by the American Academy for Constitutional Education (AAFCE) at the Burke Basic School in Mesa, Arizona.

A tale of two militias: finding the right label for the Oregon protests

When an armed group occupied a federal building in Oregon to protest against the US government’s land management, the media quickly seized on the word ‘militia’ to describe them. The Guardian reported the incident with the headline ‘Oregon militia threatens showdown with US agents at wildlife refuge’; The Washington Post listed the ‘Key things to […]

Barack Obama on television reacting to the Paris attacks.

Word in the news: mastermind

In a speech made after the November terrorist attacks in Paris, President Obama criticized the media’s use of the word mastermind to describe Abdelhamid Abaaoud. “He’s not a mastermind,” he stated. “He found a few other vicious people, got hands on some fairly conventional weapons, and sadly, it turns out that if you’re willing to […]

Lewis Magnum Opus

The Murderer’s Magnum Opus: ITV’s Lewis trends on Oxford Dictionaries

Oxford is a very dangerous place to live at the moment. A body has been found in the woods, bludgeoned to death, and decorated with maggots and a dead raven as part of what seems to be a bizarre alchemical ceremony. When another body is found in the river, tied to a wooden stake with […]

As the compilers of dictionaries, our job is to record the language as we see it being used today.

When does ‘wrong’ become ‘right’?

People can go a bit funny when I tell them I edit dictionaries for a living. They get nervous and hesitant, as if they’re expecting me to leap on them at any moment, mock their use of grammar, laugh cruelly at their mispronunciations, and pour scorn on their woefully limited vocabulary. But nothing could be […]

Grand National

Place your bets: getting geed up for the Grand National

The only time I’ve ever been in a betting shop was more than twenty years ago, on National day. Though not a betting man by nature, like much of the British population my dad would have a flutter on the Grand National. He took me with him one year, and I remember the small, close […]

poppy field

Our words remember them – language of the First World War

In July 1917, after three years of bloody war, anti-German feeling in Britain was reaching a feverish peak. Xenophobic mutterings about the suitability of having a German on the throne had been heard since 1914. The fact that the Royal family shared part of its name, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, with the Gotha bombers responsible for the devastating […]