Let English change (YOLO, after all)


So the word of the year is omnishambles. Also on the shortlist were medal (as a verb), Mobot, eurogeddon and YOLO (you only live once).

Usually this announcement elicits a barrage of moans from language ‘purists’. So rather than wait for them to moan, we’ve decided to pre-empt them.

A quick bit of Google research tells me haircare, screenshot, gridlock, frizzy, dead leg, geek and panini only got into the OED in the last ten years or so. And they’ve all stuck because there’s a place for them.

The fact is, our language grows as we grow. As new things (and nuances on old things) come about.

Trying to restrict it, as many academies have, is like refusing to buy your child new clothes when they grow out of the old ones. Eventually you’re going to end up with an 18 year old wearing a pair of trousershorts (to coin a phrase).

And that does not look good.

 


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on Nov 13, 2012

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