H'm...perhaps it's OK we're going spanish

H'm...perhaps it's OK we're going spanish

Post by Nat » Sat, 28 Sep 2002 06:32:06

The Oxford English Dictionary has caught up with the language of the streets,
and has put it in its new volume.

It's English, innit: Ali G is the ultimate definition of "bling-bling"

The latest edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary includes the terms
bling-bling - "(The wearing of) expensive designer clothing and flashy
jewellery", and bad ass - "A tough, aggressive, or uncooperative person; a

They are just some of 3,500 new terms in the edition, mirroring extraordinary
changes in language over the 10 years since SOED was last published.

Many new entries reflect trends in British society and culture. Essex man, for
long the ***of jokes from the rest of the country, can point to his official
definition: "A confident, affluent young businessman ... characterised as
voting Conservative and benefiting from the entrepreneurial wealth created by
Thatcherite policies."

Recent literary and movie trends are taken into account, such as Aga saga, sex
and shopping, and chick-lit/chick-flick. Science fiction shows its hold on the
British imagination. From a galaxy far, far away come the Jedi, the Force, and
the Dark Side; going boldly into the edition are Klingon, warp drive and warp

Suitably, perhaps, another new entry is anoraky: "Socially inept and studious
or obsessive person ... with unfashionable and largely solitary interests."

Politics is a major source, with new entries confirming the impact of Tony
Blair's government on the national consciousness. In come New Labour, Old
Labour, Clause Four, Blairism, Blairite, and spinmeister: "An expert at
presenting information or events to the media in a favourable light."

Providing balance, John Major's Back to Basics gets a mention - though he may
not want that illfated "m***revival" highlighted.

"The rate of change of English has speeded up," said Robert Scriven, editorial
director of dictionaries at Oxford University Press. "Language is much more
available than it was. There are so many more books and periodicals, the
internet moves language around faster." In fact, new technology is responsible
for several new entries, including chatroom, DVD, and text message.

And, said Mr Scriven, English now has more words derived from Japanese than
from Cornish.

New words are chosen after much deliberation by dictionary editors, who never
remove any word from the dictionary, even obsolete ones.


(Sorry. I have to do this to reduce spam)