background preloader

Change: lexical-semantic

Facebook Twitter

Allow me to womansplain the problem with gendered language. She is a #Girlboss.

Allow me to womansplain the problem with gendered language

She is a mumtrepreneur. She is a SheEO. He is a manterrupter. A mansplainer. A manspreader. Much of this is feminism’s fault, naturally. Neologisms such as girlboss and SheEO are supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, of course.

New words in dictionaries ...

Borrowed words in English: tracing the changing patterns. In Borrowed Words: A History of Loanwords in English I examine how words borrowed from different languages have influenced English throughout its history.

Borrowed words in English: tracing the changing patterns

From Skedaddle to Selfie: Words of the Generations by Allan Metcalf – review. Previously, Allan Metcalf, a professor of English at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois, has written a whole book devoted to “America’s greatest word”: OK (or “K”, as my 16-year-old daughter likes to “abbrev” it, presumably to save energy in her texting thumb).

From Skedaddle to Selfie: Words of the Generations by Allan Metcalf – review

This new slimmer volume goes at the etymology of American slang from a different direction; it sets out, somewhat haphazardly, to define the character of generations from the words they coin. OK itself was by this reckoning a “product of the transcendental generation”, though you can’t quite imagine Thoreau having much use for it as he contemplated Walden Pond. It was invented in 1839 by Charles Gordon Greene, editor of the Boston Morning Post, in a story full of other “humorous contractions” such as RTBS (remains to be seen).

OK stood in for a drawled “all correct”. Correctness, you are reminded, is the enemy of slang, trying to prevent underage neologisms slipping into the speakeasy lexicon and lowering the tone. WMDs, RGPs, DHS: how the Iraq war transformed the English language. War leaves indelible marks on our language.

WMDs, RGPs, DHS: how the Iraq war transformed the English language

How could it be otherwise? Turn on the news anytime in the last 10 years and you were greeted with an alphabet soup of RPGs, UAVs, DHS and the ubiquitous (until we couldn't find them) WMDs. Open the paper, and you'd have to pick your way through the minefield of "sectarian violence", "collateral damage" and "enhanced interrogation techniques". Call your cousin or your mother and the conversation ebbs and flows with "surge" and "drawdown".

Lexicographers, too, spent time listening, reading, watching and tracking the words of the Iraq war. Major events spawn new words to talk about those events, and you get an interesting overview of the Iraq war when you survey new dictionary entries in chronological order. War of the words: the global conflict that helped shape our language. War: the mother of invention.

War of the words: the global conflict that helped shape our language

The phrase (a tweak of the proverb “necessity is the mother of invention”) refers to military technology. But a new book demonstrates how it is also true of language. The Word at War: World War Two in 100 Phrases is by Philip Gooden and Peter Lewis, who brought us the fascinating Idiomantics – a thrill-a-page tour of international idioms. 'Hobbitses' and Frankenstein: how pop culture's words become official. Water cooler conversation at a dictionary company tends towards the odd.

'Hobbitses' and Frankenstein: how pop culture's words become official

A while ago I was chatting with one of my colleagues about our respective defining batches. "I'm not sure," he said, "what to do about the plural of 'hobbit'. There are some citations for 'hobbitses', but I think they may be facetious uses. Have any thoughts? " Grexit, drachmail and eurogeddon - the new eurozone words. As the eurozone crisis consumes billions of pounds and leaves people fearing for their jobs, it has given people one thing - a totally new vocabulary.

Grexit, drachmail and eurogeddon - the new eurozone words

MP David Miliband has already warned us of drachmageddon - the chaos which would be caused to us all by the return of the former Greek currency. That then leads us to drachmail - the term coined by our own Economics Editor Faisal Islam, which describes Greece's attempts to secure a better deal from its concerned Euro partners, anxious to save the world from a euro collapse. Who, What, Why: What is thundersnow? 14 January 2015Last updated at 07:18 ET Magazine Monitor A collection of cultural artefacts Thundersnow has been reported in parts of the UK.

Who, What, Why: What is thundersnow?

What exactly is this dramatic-sounding weather event? First there was the frostquake. Twitter shows language evolves in cities - tech - 17 November 2012. WHERE do new words come from?

Twitter shows language evolves in cities - tech - 17 November 2012

On Twitter at least, they often begin life in cities with large African American populations before spreading more widely, according to a study of the language used on the social network. Jacob Eisenstein at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and colleagues examined 30 million tweets sent from US locations between December 2009 and May 2011. Several new terms spread during this period, including "bruh", an alternative spelling of "bro" or "brother", which first arose in a few south-east cities before eventually hopping to parts of California. Why and how language changes. The 10 best words the internet has given English. Super Storm Sandy and Candy Crush Have Changed the English Language.

Actuallythink With so much of our communication happening online, computer scientists now have more resources than ever for tracking when and how a word's meaning changes.

Super Storm Sandy and Candy Crush Have Changed the English Language

While it's unlikely that one person can shift a meaning alone—like poor Gretchen, trying so badly to get “fetch” to happen—sometimes single events or new products can cause a word's meaning to shift. For example, when Hurricane-turned-Super Storm Sandy hit, it moved more than just the beach at Fire Island. 100 words that define the First World War. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) World War I timeline shows some of the ways in which the events of the First World War left their mark on the English language.

For example, the wet and muddy conditions of the first winter of trench warfare were evoked in the term Flanders mud (November 1914), while trench boots and trench coats (both December 1914) were invented to cope with these conditions. By early 1915 the physical and psychological effects of trench warfare were being felt: both trench foot and shell shock are first recorded in January 1915. Texting is “miraculous”: 6 ways we are redefining communication. John McWhorter asks us to think of texting less as “written language” and more as “fingered speech.” Photo: James Duncan Davidson Texting is not a blight on the English language, says linguist John McWhorter in today’s talk, given at TED2013.

Rather, texting is a “miraculous thing”: a novel linguistic mode that’s redefining the way we communicate with each other — for the better. John McWhorter: Txtng is killing language. English language is changing faster than ever, research reveals. • How 2014 became the year of the emoji (tiny aubergine anyone?) And 'fear of missing out' - commonly abbreviated to 'FOMO' - also leaves parents scratching their heads. The study was led by the English language expert Professor John Sutherland was commissioned to mark the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S6 phone. The results point to a seismic generational gap in how we use and understand modern informal text speak while also suggesting older style abbreviations and acronyms such as TXT are now so old they are considered antiquated by the younger generation.

The poll found that 86 per cent of all British parents think teenagers speak an entirely different language on social media and mobile messaging. Creating New Words For New Needs. I'm continually astounded at the ability of the English language to furnish new words for new needs. When innovative technologies, trends or ideas expose gaps in the front line of our vocabulary, we quickly send in fresh soldiers — new words! — to plug the holes. People are taking snapshots of themselves with their cellphones? Crying with laughter: how we learned how to speak emoji. What will the English language be like in 100 years? Simon Horobin, University of Oxford. Sexuality: Guide to new world of greysexual, aromantic and questioning. Straight people, I don’t know if you realise this but you talk about yourselves a lot. What with your marriages and children and holding hands in the street, your sexuality is on display all the time.

We can move on. These 20 words have new meanings. Do you really know what that word means? Caitlin Dewey discovers 24 words that mean totally different things now than they did pre-internet. Technological change, as we know very well, tends to provoke linguistic and cultural change, too. Word Evolution: 11 Words that Mean Something Different to Entrepreneurs  Have you ever really thought about how terms take on new meaning over time? When I was a kid, the word "sick" actually meant sick.

Today "sick" can also mean "amazing". Scouring the Web to Make New Words ‘Lookupable’ A couple of weeks ago, two of my New York Times colleagues chronicled digital culture trends that are so newish and niche-y that conventional English dictionaries don’t yet include words for either of them. In an article on Sept. 20, Stephanie Rosenbloom, a travel columnist, reviewed flight apps that try to perfect “farecasting” — that is, she explained, the art of “predicting the best date to buy a ticket” to obtain the lowest fares. That same day Jenna Wortham, a columnist for The Times Magazine, described a phenomenon she called “technomysticism,” in which Internet users embrace medieval beliefs, spells and charms.

These word coinages may be too fresh — and too little used for now — to be of immediate interest to major English dictionaries. Category Archive: Word trends and new words. BBC Radio 4 - Word of Mouth, Textspeak. Hashtags and @ symbols affect language on Twitter. Despite all the shortened words and slang seen on Twitter, it turns out that people follow many of the same communication etiquette rules on social media as they do in speech. Research from the Georgia Institute of Technology shows that when tweeters use hashtags -- a practice that can enable messages to reach more people -- they tend to be more formal and drop the use of abbreviations and emoticons. But when they use the @symbol to address smaller audiences, they're more likely to use non-standard words such as ''nah,'' ''cuz'' and ''smh.'' The study also found when people write to someone from the same city, they are even more likely to use non-standard language – often lingo that is specific to that geographical area.

English language is changing faster than ever, research reveals. Where does the word cyber come from? Do you know your sideeye from your subtweets? Take our amazeballs quiz. My Blackberry Is Not Working! - The One Ronnie, Preview - BBC One. The Linguistics of LOL - Britt Peterson. How brand-new words are spreading across America. To most people, Indian food means buttery naans from Punjab, south Indian dosas or Bengali fish curries. But there is a whole world of foods from the country’s past that is now less ubiquitous but no less delicious than these more common dishes.

You Won’t Believe What Word This Column Is About! How emoji became the first truly global language. Erin McKean: The joy of lexicography. Youthslang.doc. Anne Curzan: What makes a word “real”? Mind your slanguage, and don't be an erk. YOLO.