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There's New Words Heading To The Oxford Dictionaries - And Some Of Them Are Rather Angry

One News Page Staff Saturday, 25 February 2017
There's New Words Heading To The Oxford Dictionaries - And Some Of Them Are Rather Angryby 👨‍💻 Graham Pierrepoint

It can hardly be denied that we are currently amidst one of the most tumultuous political periods in recent history. With the assumed liberal populace largely taking a back seat to wild card political firebrands such as current US President Donald Trump, the result of the controversial Brexit vote and other rumblings in world politics adding to an atmosphere of trepidation in the past year, it’s hardly surprising that there have been a number of terms and phrases that have entered into our vocabulary. ‘Brexit’, for one – and, of course, ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative truths’ – but which terms have made their way to The Oxford Dictionaries, a sister database to that of the world-famous OED?

If you know what ‘herd mentality’ means, or if you have engaged in ‘clicktivism’ in recent months, you’ll likely be familiar with some of the definitions that have recently been added to oxforddictionaries.com. A total of 300 new definitions have recently found their way into the database, meaning that people can now enjoy the recognised meanings of ‘otherizing’ (similar to xenophobia in that it refers to the specific treatment of people different to oneself) ‘drunk texts’ (which are rather self-explanatory to anyone who’s handled a cellphone after a few beers) and ‘drop bears’ (an Australian colloquialism for creatures thought to resemble that of a koala).

The political sphere has much to answer for when it comes to recent additions. Whether you’re a ‘climate denier’ or one who drinks the ‘haterade’, it’s likely that there are some terms here that you’ll be familiar with. Phrases such as ‘third gender’ and ‘superfruit’ identify progressive shifts in both social identification and the way we talk about our food. ‘Squad goals’ and ‘video selfies’ show the evolution of language through our social media and our handheld technology. Further to this, if you simply like to refer to things as either ‘funtastic’ or ‘craptacular’, you’ll be at home with the website’s latest additions.

The way we speak and the way we communicate via text is evolving both through our politics, our social progressiveness and the way we use our technology. It’s therefore important to understand that we should be welcoming words that may seem trendy today – how many of us are still using the words ‘cool’ or ‘awesome’ from years gone by? Treasure the new phrases that emerge – as they help to cement our place in time for generations to come.

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