Death of the English Language

STORY BY Jessica Elizabeth Pawlarczyk

Published: November 4, 2013

The Oxford English Dictionary inducted 1,200 new words this year. 

These newly inducted words are primarily slang or technology-based. The new-fangled words range in nature, where some stem from colloquial sayings, while others pay homage to bizarre trends that only the hipster kids can understand.

Some of the “duh” words that should have made the list long ago include: epic, tweet, handicapping, hand sanitizer, hand-wash, heartwarmingly, brat (as in the hotdog), red velvet, chilled, validation, mochaccino, young adult, and hand-embroidered.

Some unconventional words that somehow made it on the Oxford English Dictionary’s list are:

Geekery (n.): “actions or behavior typical of a geek or geeks; spec. obsessive devotion to or knowledge of a particular (specified) subject or pursuit.”

Gut Check (n.): “From sports: (a) a challenging situation or event which tests one’s strength of will; (b) an instance of assessing one’s feelings regarding a course of action, typically intended to reconfirm one’s enthusiasm or resolve.

Handyman Special (n.): “Something, esp. a house, which is in need of repair or renovation and is therefore offered for sale at a reduced price; a ‘fixer-upper.’”

Fly-over (adj.) “Designating the central regions of the continental United States over which airplanes travel on flights between the east and west coasts, regarded as less influential or significant than the urban coastal regions.”

(Definitions provided by this Time Newsfeed article.)

The most notable oddball word is without a doubt “dad dancing.” This style of dance refers to how awkward, uncoordinated middle-aged men dance. Now that I’m familiar with this word’s definition, I must admit that it is definitely a useful word to have in one’s vocabulary— especially if you’re the sort of person who constantly finds yourself dancing with uncoordinated, unfashionable men at the night club.

If you’re interested in expanding your vocabulary even more, check out the Oxford English Dictionary’s entire New Word List for June 2013 here

I guarantee that your use of words such as “interoperability” and “parasomnia” will make you seem like the ultimate genius to all of your friends…that is if you were born after 1985. All I can say is good luck if you choose to memorize the OED’s wordy, lengthy definitions! 

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