Dictionary's Attempt to Capture Groovy Hip-Speak of Our Time Proves a Buzzkill
The Oxford Dictionary of English really, really, really wants to be cool. Its latest edition, out now, includes 200 new phrases, from chill pill to staycation and more! This is not the Oxford English Dictionary, by the way, which presumably would never deign to include "chillax" on its pages, but a dictionary "based on how language is used in everyday life," which is, perhaps, not a dictionary at all but a list of whatever the cool kids are saying. Unfortunately, the moment that the dictionary wonks find out what the cool kids are saying -- and then get around to putting it on paper -- the expressions are practically vintage. As you can see from the following selection of new words in the ODE:
chill pill a notional pill taken to make someone calm down chillax calm down and relax turducken a roast dish consisting of a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey staycation holiday spent in one's home country fussbudget a fussy person vuvuzela long horn blown by fans at soccer matches national treasure someone/thing regarded as emblematic of a nation's cultural heritage buzzkill a person or thing that has a depressing or dispiriting effect social media websites and applications used for social networking paywall an arrangement whereby access is restricted to users who have paid to subscribe to a website overthink think about (something) too much or for too long matchy-matchy excessively colour-coordinated LBD little black dress frenemy a person with whom one is friendly despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry cheeseball lacking taste, style, or originality cool hunter a person whose job it is to make observations or predictions about new styles and trends steampunk a genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advance technology tweetup a meeting organized by means of posts on Twitter bromance a close but non-sexual relationship between two men wardrobe malfunction an instance of a person accidentally exposing an intimate part of their body as a result of an article of clothing slipping out of position defriend another term for unfriend (remove someone from a list of friends or contacts on a social networking site) Interweb the Internet hater negative person
"The dictionary reflects the way the language has changed over the last few years," Catherine Soanes, head of online dictionaries at Oxford University Press, told TIME. "We run the biggest language-research program in the world, with an online database of over 2 billion words."
Kinda like Urban Dictionary, you know, on the Interweb? Carry on, cool hunters!
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