Merriam-Webster releases list of new words to be included in dictionary
Thread poster: Roland Lelaj

Roland Lelaj
Canada
Local time: 14:31
Member (2008)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Jul 14, 2009

Ed Pilkington in New York,
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 9 July 2009

The irresistible power of the digital revolution to transform everything in its path has been confirmed, lest anyone still doubts it, by one of the arbitors of the English language itself.
Merriam-Webster, the revered publishing house known for its texts on American English, released today a sample of more than 100 new words it has granted entry into its Collegiate dictionary this year. Fully a fifth of them relate to technological innovation.
"Vlog" makes its debut, defined as a blog containing video material, as does "webisode", that is a TV show that can be viewed through a website.
Some old expressions have finally made it into Webster years after they were coined, courtesy of renewed digital interest. So "fan fiction" is traceable back to 1944 but the writing of stories by fans involving popular fictional characters has boomed through posts on the web.
Likewise, the use of "sock puppet" to describe a false identity used for deceptive purposes originated in 1959, but its proliferation on the internet has given it new life. And "flash mobs" (1987) - crowds that descend on a designated location to perform an event have now become so common thanks to email and text message, that the phrase has now earned its place in the dictionary.
Merriam-Webster, a Massachusetts company, has produced dictionaries dating back Noah Webster's 1828 An American Dictionary of the English Language.
Given the global spread of the American form of English, the influence of the Webster's dictionary over the evolution of the language is arguably even greater than that of the Oxford English Dictionary.
Webster himself was a great believer in keeping things simple, and it was his idea to "Americanise" many of the spellings that now distinguish the American and English forms of the language. He dropped the "u" from colour and favour and turned centre into center.
That unashamed Americanisation is evident in this year's new words, which will have traditionalists squirming. They include "staycation" for a holiday spent at home and "frenemy" for one who pretends to be a friend but is in fact an enemy.
The green revolution also makes a strong showing, with "locavore" for a person who eats only locally-grown food; carbon footprint as a measure of one's carbon emmissions; and green-collar, referring to jobs designed to help the environment.

Other newcomers
Acai
The small, dark purple, berrylike fruit found in central and south
America has been known by this word since 1868 but its place in the
dictionary has been forced by a recent fad that claims it is an aid to
dieting

Goji
A big year for berries all round, with the dark red mildly tart bruit
of a mainly Asian shrub making its entry thanks to its new popularity as a
flavour in drinks

Haram
Items, usually foods, forbidden under Islamic law

Memory foam
Another recent fad, this time for a mattress that supposedly
remembers the shape of your back

Neuroprotective
One of several new words relating to health and medicine,
it refers to drugs that protect neurons from injury or degeneration

Reggaeton
Another fusion word, in this case relating to the union of rap
and Caribbean rhythms in popular Puerto Rican music


 

Rod Walters  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 03:31
Japanese to English
Memory foam Jul 14, 2009

I thought "memory foam" was just another of the undocumented behaviours of the new Trados release...

I've been flavouring my own drinks with homegrown 'goji' recently, but I prefer the non-marketing name 'wolfberry'.


 

Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:31
English to Japanese
+ ...
Flash mob Jul 14, 2009

I didn't know that flash mob dated back to 1987. I thought it was one of those newcomers, since the term was submitted by the Glossary Building Team at KudoZ last year.

 


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Merriam-Webster releases list of new words to be included in dictionary

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