Do you speak OED 2012?. 28 November 2011

The English language continues to evolve, but who decides what gets an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary? 

Last year’s (two-word) word of the year was DC’s favourite ‘Big Society’,   the year before was Unfriend (my own translation for this being to break friends with someone in a cowardly fashion), this year we have Squeezed Middle (is that a new cut of pork? I am sure I saw it on the St John Bread & Wine menu...). A host of other turns of phrase arising from the social, political and technological landscape have also become recognised parlance and feature in the Word of the Year shortlist including Arab Spring , ClicktivismFracking and Tiger Mother, amongst others. Retweet, sexting and cyberbullying were also all added to the dictionary this year. 

In the most irritating words of Carrie Bradshaw, I got to thinking - who comes up with these words and who decides what deserves official recognition?

I decided to put a list of new words / terms and their definitions together in the hope that some may make it into the 2012 list:

Eye-phoning: when people view and review the world through a small lens or screen rather than just seeing it happen and having a memory of the experience

Meating: a social get-together, usually with friends but sometimes colleagues, that revolves entirely around the consumption of animal flesh.

FADO: no, not the Portuguese singing, this is an acronym  for ‘Five A Day Obsession’

Booklessness: the state of not having any literature in your home (see MTV Cribs)

Tooking: pretending to dinner guests that you have cooked what has in fact been ordered, catered or microwaved.

Touchscream: this is what happens when a child cannot expand an image on a paper page

Chopping: shopping for children at the sales or at Hamleys (also see Adoption)

Backances: a Frenchification for what can only be described as a post-holiday come down. Bummer.

Facecrook: someone who dobbs themself in when they’ve taken a sickie (also see Fool)

Twidiot: someone who only communicates through Twitter

Guys: the collective noun for, or way to address, any customers in absolutely any restaurant chain regardless of their gender.

Have I forgotten some really obvious ones? Are any of the above already old hat and therefore a sign of how behind the times I am? Do you think new words should be banned? Does anyone else HATE the whole ‘Guys’ thing? You know what to do.

In the meantime, happy talking!

Clair Chamberlain

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