A Classical Bromance: New Internet-Speak Finds Home in Chambers Dictionary

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An edition of the Chambers Dictionary kept in a bookstore.

Language inspired by the Internet and modern short forms has found its way into the Chambers Dictionarys latest edition.

The 200-year-old publisher will be adding around 200 new words and phrases that come from language used mainly on the Internet and spoken by the youth.

David Swarbrick, managing director at Chambers said, “I think young people are probably the most creative agents for new words because theyre not held back by convention.

Some of the words that are included are the cloud, paywall and tweet. The webs influence on language is undeniable and the publishers would like to take this into account. Words like big society, and sexting, could also be possible candidates for the next addition, they added. Other words include crowdsourcing, staycation, and national treasure.

Even the word man flu has been added to define a heavy cold stemming from the idea that men tend exaggerate the seriousness of the condition. Those bored of using the word mates to refer to their friends, might consider bromance, the new trendy way of referring to friendship between men.

BUSINESS LINGO

The latest addition to the Chambers line of dictionaries is the 12th edition of the single volume edition of the dictionary that was first published back in 1901. It contains 620,000 new words and definitions.

The word flipping, inspired by the MPs’ expenses scandal in the UK and TARP (the Troubled Assets Relief Program in relation to the US government bailout of companies during the financial crisis) have also found their way into the pages of this age-old dictionary.

Some words are environmental-based. For instance, upcycle, turning waste into a product of higher value, and precycle, the process of avoiding unnecessary waste by buying products with minimal packaging, will also be included.

“The new words herald a wave of geek chic, a more strident green agenda, and the way in which the recession has shaped how we speak today,” the publisher said in a statement.

David Swarbrick, managing director of Chambers, said: “Topical words like Neet and even kakistocracy – defined as government by the worst – the dictionary holds up a mirror to life today. But the new dictionary takes a hard line on “cringeworthy and cliched” English and business euphemisms as well. Words like, tsar, joined-up, and sea change are cited as among 52 words and phrases to avoid.

Mr. Swarbrick went on to say that they would avoid certain words and phrases to make sure they werent, befuddling English.”

STRANGE ADDITIONS

Some strange additions include meh, and defriend and unfriend. The first word has now officially attained the status as an expression of indifference. The latter two words come from the popular social networking site, Facebook, and indicate the removal of ones contacts from the list of Friends.

And thats not it! Space has also been given to acronyms formed to make typing less tedious and popularized by daily internet and text languages. OMG (Oh My God) and BFF (Best Friend Forever) have also made an entry into the lexicon. The acronym NEET (not in education, employment or training) has been included defining Britains lost generation’.

CHAMBERS VS OED

Chambers is not the only publisher to rev up its dictionary with newer words. The Concise Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has included words such as retweet, wootand cyberbullying. “These additions are just carrying on the tradition of a dictionary that has always sought to be progressive,” said OED editor Angus Stevenson.

However, in contrast to the enthusiasm of Chambers Harrap, the OED editors are less thrilled by the addition of the new words. “I don’t know why people can’t just say hurrah but maybe I’m being old fashioned,” said Mr Stevenson.

“Young people are the real artists of the language and a dictionary should reflect that, says Mr. Swarbrick who believes that youth culture greatly influences every day language. The Chambers Dictionary, 12th Edition, is published by Chambers Harrap, an imprint of Hodder Education, Thursday. Hardback; approx 1,900 pages; price varies 50-40.

In this day and age, technology is developing at a fast pace. When technology and knowledge evolve, so does language. In the process new words come up that can turn out to be clever or amusing and in some cases even efficient.

TTYL! (Talk to you later!)

Sources: BBC, Telegraph

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