Tag: Oxford English Corpus

dictionary examples

How are dictionary examples chosen?

We often receive queries about the example sentences on OxfordDictionaries.com. Some people assume that they are written by the lexicographers who produce the definitions, but in fact they are chosen from real-life examples collected on Oxford’s corpora—vast databases of text drawn from many publications, websites, and other sources. Oxford takes an evidence-based approach to lexicography, […]

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words that defined 2015 part two

From austerity to refugee: the words that defined 2015, part two

In late December, we took a look at satire, transgender, and other words that defined the first six months of 2015. Here’s the second and final part of our end-of-year roundup. austerity July The ongoing drama of the troubled Greek economy entered its final phase in the month of July this year when the governing […]

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words that defined 2015 satire

From satire to transgender: the words that defined 2015, part one

As the year is drawing to a close, we have decided to take a look back at the events that shaped the past twelve months – and the words connected to them. Here is the first part of our end-of-year retrospective of the twelve words that defined 2015… satire January On 7 January, two armed […]

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WOTY emoji banner

Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2015 is…

That’s right – for the first time ever, the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is a pictograph: 😂, officially called the ‘Face with Tears of Joy’ emoji, though you may know it by other names. There were other strong contenders from a range of fields, outlined below, but 😂 was chosen as the ‘word’ that […]

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scottish referendum

The Scottish independence referendum: one year on

This time last year, the British press (and, indeed, British conversation) was full of talk about the Scottish independence referendum. It took place on 18 September 2014, and was to determine whether or not Scotland should be an independent country – the alternative being remaining part of the United Kingdom. As discussion around the topic […]

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country

Dolly Parton: a musical career expressed through language statistics

Here at Oxford Dictionaries we often refer to the Oxford English Corpus in our work. By consulting statistical analysis of a vast database of billions of words of English captured from the wild, our lexicographer colleagues can spot new words and usage patterns that they might not otherwise have encountered. It is a fascinating resource […]

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A menorah and other elements of Chanukah.

How do you spell Hanukkah?

Hanukkah vs. Chanukah: Each winter, as the Jewish festival of lights approaches, English speakers grapple with the question of how to spell its name. The Oxford English Corpus records at least 13 different contemporary spellings, and there are even more in the historical evidence. While the vowels of the word (-a-u-a-) remain constant, there is […]

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Should it be one word or two? Is aswell a word? Do you have alot of something?

Alot, along, and away? Or a lot, a long, and a way?

Is there a space between a and lot, or is the spelling alot OK? What’s the difference between away and a way? If you’ve ever pondered over questions similar to these, the dilemma of ‘two words or one?’ is one which you’ll have grappled with when putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. On […]

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