Returning to the office from a week’s break in Cornwall, we notice that – in our absence – Oxford English Dictionaries have announced that its latest edition has around 1,000 new words.
This seems a fair number of new entries. Apparently, similar numbers of words are entered each year demonstrating that English is not a static language.
It is far more fluid than that.
New entries this year range from omnishambles (which was voted word of the year, meaning self-created disaster on all fronts) to selfie, a self-taken photo taken on a mobile or smart phone, and from food baby (which means protruding tummy after eating too much) to Fomo , an acronmyn for the term fear of missing out.
What’s clear is that the new words and expressions are constantly emerging to reflect our ever-changing youth based culture. There’s nothing new in this. Young people have always developed new ways of expressing themselves. It’s always happened.
What is brought into stark relief is the effect of technology and the digital revolution has on the language we are using. Many of the new entries either describe a new technology and what people can do with it (such as phablet), or language that that has developed and devolved through our use and dependence on technology (to unlike, for instance).
Language reflects culture. And culture mirrors what we experience in the real world. Our technology dependant and obsessed lives therefore has a massive influence on the language that we use.
I’ll stop there otherwise this post will be TL:WR
That’s Too Long; Won’t Read, to those not in the know ( good use of the colon noted!)
A list of the new words added can be found here: http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2013/08/new-words-august-2013/