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Please note: this blog post discusses language that some readers may find offensive. Sometimes, people ask me, “What’s your favorite swear word?” I don’t know why. Also, I don’t know what to say. I’m interested in profanity but not especially invested in one word over another. It’s not a competition. They all have their uses, […]more
This March’s update to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) finds us — as ever — with neologisms and newly researched and published entries for words and phrases from the whole history of the English language coming at us from all sides. With ranges including brother, call, celebrity, difference, father, foot, get, luck, and video, there’s […]more
We’ve looked a few times at words that are older than you think, and the series continues apace: here are nine further words that you might think are recent additions to the language, but have actually been spoken and written for rather longer than you may imagine. X factor (1930) The TV show didn’t invent […]more
With the announcement that Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin would be separating, the term ‘conscious uncoupling’ was launched into the mainstream. While the news of any separation is sad, we can’t deny that the report also carried some linguistic interest. The phrase was picked up by journalists, commentators, and tweeters around the world. Some called […]more
The Oxford English Corpus, our unique two-billion word database of real twenty-first century English, shows that the use of celebrity has risen steadily since the year 2000 – but the use of the informal abbreviation celeb has dropped since 2006. Perhaps this suggests that the public may be starting to tire of these trashy, wannabe, […]more