Articles, quizzes, and grammar tips for word-lovers everywhere

Category: Word trends and new words

Word trends – FAIL

Dart arrows missing target

Since its inception, the internet has been a rich source of new words (such as blogroll, chatterbot, cyberslacker, phishing, and tweetup) and meanings (such as browse, mouse, spider, cookie, and thread). Fail is a perfect example of an Internet-created word craze. It’s used in our everyday speech as a verb, and it has been used […]

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Your friendly neighbourhood Corpus

Corpus

Shades of rhetoric: a hot-button word Much of the content and information found in Oxford dictionaries is provided by the Oxford English Corpus, a database of current English usage that has over two and a half billion words and is fully searchable, allowing shifts in meaning to be observed far more rapidly than they were […]

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Which word is older?

Words

There are a number of people who decry some of the recent additions to the English language, contending that the new vocabulary is nothing more than a bunch of nonsense words that some computer-addicted kids made up (what is a w00t, anyway?).   Yet when we view some of these words out of context, it can […]

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The OUP UK Word of the Year is … ‘big society’

Word of the Year 2010

Let’s hear a woot (or not?) for the Big Society! Each year, as the announcement of Oxford’s Word of the Year approaches, I’m reminded of some words from the playwright Dennis Potter: ‘the trouble with words is that you never know whose mouth they’ve been in’. I sometimes wonder whether that’s why I like new […]

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Nom nom! 2010 was a deliciously rich year for our language

US FreeODO webad AW

Popular culture . . . In 2010, much of our uneasy fascination turned from zombie banks to plain old zombies. Well, maybe not “plain old.” It’s been a phenomenal year for zombies, who have commanded huge markets in the entertainment industry and a seemingly insatiable fan base. As zombies roamed the planet, another breed of […]

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Refudiate: An understandable mistake?

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NEW OXFORD AMERICAN DICTIONARY’S 2010 WORD OF THE YEAR IS…

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The Burds and the Bees

A word from...

Sarah Palin, the once and (perhaps) future candidate for higher political office, recently discovered the perils of neologizing, when she several times used the previously unknown word refudiate in a series of tweets about the potential building of a mosque near ground zero in Manhattan. The condemnation of her word choice was swift and brutal, and […]

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