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How lesbians penetrated the Oxford English Dictionary. Anti-Woman Suffrage Pamphlet, 1910. A fresh view of George Orwell. This piece was originally posted on The New Inquiry.

A fresh view of George Orwell

Follow TNI at @newinquiry and subscribe to TNI Magazine It’s hardly as though his profile needed a boost, but what the hell. George Orwell’s publisher Penguin recently declared the inaugural “George Orwell Day” on January 21, the anniversary of his death. Organized in conjunction with the Media Standards Trust, a London-based NGO which runs the prestigious Orwell Prize for political journalism, the commemoration would be an opportunity to reflect on the life and work of one of the 20th century’s most influential political writers. And, of course, to buy his books: To mark the happy, possibly superfluous occasion, Penguin has reissued several of Orwell’s political works, with attractive new jackets designed by David Pearson. The essay is an investigation of what Orwell called the “special connexion between politics and the debasement of language.” This was about more than just style as a thing in itself. 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.

100 words that define the First World War

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. One linguistically important event was the involvement of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli (1915), which led to the coinage or spread of terms such as Anzac (April 1915), Aussie (1915 as a noun), and the Anzacs’ affectionate term for a British soldier, choom (June 1916). The timeline also highlights developments in military technology, such as the introduction of the tank in 1916.

'Genericide': Brands destroyed by their own success. 27 May 2014Last updated at 19:54 ET By Simon Tulett Business reporter, BBC News Global brand spending is estimated at about $500bn (£300bn) each year Turning a product into a household name is the stuff of corporate dreams.

'Genericide': Brands destroyed by their own success

Isn't it? Not necessarily. Think Hoover, Jacuzzi, Frisbee. When was the last time you "vacuum-cleanered" the front room, took a dip in a "whirlpool bath", or played in the park with your "flying disc"? It may seem like a fairly innocuous linguistic slip to confuse brand and product - indeed, you might think it a compliment to the company behind such a successful name - but it could be the sign of a brand in its death throes. 'Badge of origin' Continue reading the main story “Start Quote When you use 'Xerox' the way you use 'aspirin,' we get a headache” End Quote2003 Xerox advertXerox Corporation If consumers understand the trademark to be the name of the product itself, as opposed to identifying its exclusive source, that trademark loses its distinctiveness. Brand 'genericide' Mind-your-language-2013s-words-of-the-year-9027153. Created by members of the New Orleans bounce music scene during the 1990s, twerking (see definitions, below) was inflicted on a mass audience by Ms Cyrus this summer at the MTV Awards, where she controversially buffed her behind on the crotch of alleged sexist Robin Thicke.


It was not, however, the word of the year. For Collins, the overall winner was “geek”, a familiar classic freshly redefined. Where once the word denoted a loser, dork, dweeb or nerd, it now, Collins claims, means simply “a person who is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about a specific subject”. For instance: a food geek, a fashion geek, a football geek, a Game of Thrones geek. The OED’s overall word of the year, meanwhile, was “selfie”: a self-portrait, specifically one snapped at arm’s length using a smartphone and then posted to social media. Social media also has a crucial role to play in the measurement of the most used words. A tale of two dictionaries: the words according to the Collins and Oxford dictionaries. 20 of 2013's most overused words. 31 December 2013Last updated at 20:11 ET By Vanessa Barford BBC News Magazine Every year some words get so overused there's a call to banish them the next.

20 of 2013's most overused words

Take "selfie", or "twerk". The profusion of "projects" and starting sentences with "so". So, here are the Magazine's 20 most overused words of 2013. Some of these terms have markedly peaked in 2013 - others are post-millennial perennials that still seem to be growing. 1. Citation: Miley Cyrus stops twerking to talk about getting cut from Vogue cover @huffingtonpost Twerking, the raunchy dance move performed by Miley Cyrus at the MTV VMAs, was among the new words added to the Oxford Dictionary of English in August. 2. Citation: 'Selfie' named word of the year by the Oxford English Dictionary...

"Selfie" was named as word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries and its soaring popularity has been accompanied by everyone from the Pope to President Obama taking part in the trend. "I have the passion... " 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Amazing balls. 10. Mancunian sayings: our guide to common words and phrases. We had more than 600 responses via Facebook and Twitter - here's a selection of them: Let us know any we've missed either in the comments or via Twitter and Facebook.

Mancunian sayings: our guide to common words and phrases

Words 1. Teeth - hard enamelled structures usually attached in a row to each jaw. Manc saying: Newtons (Mancunian rhyming slang: Newton Heath = teeth) Example: "Look at the state of his Newtons. " 2. Manc saying: Chuddy or chud Example: "Do you want a chuddy? " 3. Manc saying: Mither Example: "I can't be mithered with all this", or "I'm in a bit of mither. " 4. Manc saying: Gaggin' Example: "I'm gaggin' for a drink. " 5. Manc saying: Salfords (Mancunian rhyming slang: Salford Docks = Socks) Example: "Pull your Salfords up. " 6. Manc saying: Dead Example: "That exam was dead 'ard.

" 7. Manc saying: Ginnel Example: "He got away by running up that ginnel. " 8. Manc saying: Keks Example: "Look at his jazzy keks" 9. Manc saying: Nice one/Top one 10. Manc saying: Fettled Example: "I am taking my car in to get fettled. 11. Manc saying: Mint 12. 13. 14. 15. Leigh Clark: The Degeneration of Facebook in 10 Statuses. In the olden days, Facebook was a fun place to find out what old friends were were up to.

Leigh Clark: The Degeneration of Facebook in 10 Statuses

A place to catch up with people you'd lost touch with and somewhere you would share a picture of your cute new kitten or your adorable puppy. Unfortunately, things changed, you were given access to things that your friends liked and your friends friends decided to add you because you kept popping up in their suggestions box and before you knew it, you were up to your eyeballs in people you barely knew or people that would add you but totally ignore you if you passed them in the street. These are the dark days of Facebook. Gone are the kittens and puppies, they've been replaced by vomit inducing images of dogs being punched, roadkill, videos of children being punched on public transport, girls sucking on used tampons, kids stabbing their hands with knives, injuries, insults, masturbation and sexually suggestive selfies.

It's a place for generating hatred, inciting witch-hunts and scare mongering. BBC Sport - Managerial departures: 'Sacked' seems to be the hardest word. 17 December 2013 Last updated at 17:09 GMT By Ben Dirs BBC Sport Aaah, how much simpler life would be if all our love affairs ended "by mutual consent".

BBC Sport - Managerial departures: 'Sacked' seems to be the hardest word

But they almost never do, however much we kid ourselves. "Whose decision was it? " they ask. The language of football sackings is the calculated language of broken love: "It is with great sadness"; "we wish you well for the future". Andre Villas-Boas knows there was nothing mutual about his parting from Tottenham Hotspur. "An agreement has been reached with head coach Andre Villas-Boas, for the termination of his services. "I won't resign and I'm not a quitter," said a defiant Villas-Boas following Sunday's 5-0 defeat by Liverpool at White Hart Lane. Martin Jol knew there was nothing mutual about his parting from Fulham earlier this month. It was the footballing equivalent of "let's be friends".

Five Premier League managers have been dumped since the start of the season and a further 15 in the Football League. And so the deed is done. The Word "The": Why the definite article in the English language is so difficult to define. A version of this post originally appeared in the Week.

The Word "The": Why the definite article in the English language is so difficult to define.

It's the most frequent word in the English language, accounting for around four percent of all the words we write or speak. It's everywhere, all the time, so clearly it must be doing something important. Words have meaning. That's fundamental, isn't it? So what does "the," a word that seems to be supporting a significant portion of the entire weight of our language, mean? We can say, roughly, that "the" means the word it is attached to refers to a specific, individual object. But, of course, it's not quite that easy. "The" does not seem like a difficult word, but it's very hard to explain to someone who isn't a native speaker.

The only satisfactory answers are found, not in an explanatory definition, but in lists of situations where "the" is used. The OED lists 50 entries for "the," some of which are only historical relics. Matthew 7:15 "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. New International Version"Watch out for false prophets.

Matthew 7:15 "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. New Living Translation"Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. English Standard Version“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. New American Standard Bible "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. King James BibleBeware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Holman Christian Standard Bible"Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves.

International Standard Version"Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are savage wolves. NET Bible"Watch out for false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are voracious wolves. Pulpit Commentary (r) T. The joy of slang. 25 October 2013Last updated at 20:19 ET Slang such as ain't, innit and coz has been banned from a school in south London. Author Charles Nevin celebrates modern slang and revisits phrases that have fallen out of fashion. Cor lummy! Please do not misunderstand me. I love modern slang. The other banned words are equally interesting. Continue reading the main story “Start Quote Cockney rhyming slang survives well beyond its original inspiration, as in the currently popular marvin for starving hungry” End Quote And who would not admire rinsed for something worn out or overused - chirpsing for flirting, bennin for doubled-up with laughter, or wi-five for an electronically delivered high-five?

Mouse potato for those who spend too much time on PCs is as striking as salmon and aisle salmon for people who will insist on going against the flow in crowds or supermarket aisles. Nor is tradition ignored. Ruby Murray Your family must have some similar sayings handed down. Brush up your Shakespeare? 'Twerking' and 'selfie' added to Oxford dictionary. 28 August 2013Last updated at 04:25 ET Cyrus's dance routine included the move Twerking, the raunchy dance move performed by Miley Cyrus at the MTV VMAs is among the new words added to the Oxford Dictionary of English. Oxford Dictionaries Online said the word, borrowed from hip hop culture, had become increasingly visible in the past 12 months. Other words such as omnishambles and selfie also made their debut in the dictionary's quarterly online update.

Omnishambles was named word of the year by the Oxford Dictionary in 2012. The word - meaning a situation which is shambolic from every possible angle - was coined in 2009 by the writers of BBC political satire The Thick of It. Katherine Connor Martin from Oxford Dictionaries said the word twerk had been known colloquially in US hip hop culture for around 20 years. Continue reading the main story Other words added to Oxford Dictionaries Online The performance drew complaints from several quarters, including a parenting pressure group in the US. 35 classy slang terms for naughty bits from the past 600 years. Liverpool FC staff get insults guide to curb fans' abuse. 31 July 2013Last updated at 08:20 ET Liverpool FC said the guide would help ensure Anfield is free of discrimination Liverpool Football Club staff have been issued with a guide to unacceptable language so they can help eradicate verbal abuse from fans.

The handbook highlights "offensive" phrases including "don't be a woman", "play like a girl" and "that's gay". The club said they wanted to stamp out slurs against race, religion, sexual orientation, gender and disability. Player Luis Suarez was found to have racially abused Manchester United's Patrice Evra during a game last year. The club was criticised in February by black community groups for a perceived lack of action over the Uruguayan striker's actions.

'Not really anti-gay' Liverpool's players receive their own guidance as part of a separate Premier League programme. He also took issue with "rent boy" being in the guide. 'Positive step' Lord Herman Ouseley, chair of anti-discrimination group Kick It Out, said the guide was a positive step. World map with place names swapped out for their original meanings. Jagged little words: the language of Alanis Morissette. Jagged little words: the language of Alanis Morissette If you had aspirations of being a disaffected youth in the mid-1990s, chances are you had a copy of Alanis Morissette’s album Jagged Little Pill .

That’s not quite fair; you might, after all, have been the sort who dealt with angst by listening to Black Sabbath, or even bashing out Beethoven’s Fifth in moments of rage – and angry teenagers alone wouldn’t account for the 33 million copies Jagged Little Pill has sold worldwide. Many people with that 1995 record in their CD racks might be surprised to learn that, not including compilations and live albums, Alanis Morissette has now released eight albums, the latest being 2012’s Havoc and Bright Lights . So, to celebrate her birthday on 1 June let’s find out how often she is cited in the Oxford English Dictionary ’s illustrative quotations. Syntax and suffixes Alanis does love to play around with syntax . Isn’t it ironic… doncha think? Yes, that’s pretty ironic.

Mishearing Alanis. 'If you are gay you are just bad' - Features. Comment:5 average rating | Comments (17)Last Updated:20 February, 2011Section:Features While British society as a whole may have become less prejudiced in its attitude to gay people, schools remain a stronghold of homophobia. Pupils are the perpetrators, but are teachers to blame for turning a blind eye? The closest Stacie has come to a gay man is seeing Syed and Christian, the gay characters in EastEnders, on TV. “In our terms we’d call them a batty man” she says. The Jamaican slang word literally means “bum man”. If someone Stacie knew came out as gay, “I wouldn’t talk to her. Her classmate Jonathan agrees: “If you’re gay, you’re just different,” he says.

For these 15-year-olds from east London and their friends, insulting gay people is perfectly acceptable. Jonathan and Stacie’s views seem so dated, it is difficult to believe they were speaking to The TES only last term. Many of her pupils and parents are Muslim, while others are Catholic or Baptist. . * Name has been changed. Political Correctness « i love english language. Ella Henderson - is feminism a dirty word for popstars? Slang. Terms of the 90s, Slang of the Nineties. 80s Slang – It’s, like, toooo bitchin’ In the 70s - Slang Terms of the Seventies. Semantics and vocabulary shift. Representation.