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New words added to the Oxford English dictionary

August 14, 2014 - Andrea Johnson
Who was to know there is a word for people who refuse to subscribe to cable TV?

The Oxford English dictionary just added the word "cord cutter," "a person who cancels or forgoes a pay television subscription or landline phone connection in favor of an alternative Internet-based or wireless service," to the online dictionary. I was a cord cutter for about 10 years, but I can't call myself one anymore. I subscribed to a pay television subscription service just last week.

Other new words are probably more familiar to people who spend most of their waking hours online. "Amazeballs," which sounds vaguely obscene, is described as "extremely good or impressive; amazing." If that's what it means, what's wrong with just "amazing"? Then there's "clickbait," as in "Internet content, especially that of a sensational or provocative nature, whose main purpose is to attract attention and draw viewers to a particular web page."

Some activities are engaged in, or imagined, by certain subgroups of people and considered annoying by the rest of us. "Mansplain," for instance, isn't just a man explaining something. It is a "man explaining something, usually to a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing." I suppose we could add "whitesplaining" or "womansplaining" or "politiciansplaining" or "feministsplaining" or a multitude of other varieties of "'splaining" to the dictionary. I'd say if you're engaging in douchebaggery (also a new addition to the OED), it's annoying regardless of whether you're a man or a woman.

Speaking of annoying, the overly precious "trigger warning" has finally made its way into the OED. A "trigger warning" is "a statement at the start of a piece of writing, video, etc. alerting the reader or viewer to the fact that it contains potentially distressing material." Some college students are demanding trigger warnings in college syllabi this coming school year. University of California-Santa Barbara feminist studies professor Mireille Miller-Young claimed she was "triggered" by anti-abortion protesters on the campus last March, which was why she stole a protester's sign and pushed and scratched a 16-year-old girl who tried to take it back. I guess the abortion protester deserved to be assaulted because she forgot to give Miller-Young her trigger warning.

The complete list of new words added to the OED this month are included in the attached link.


Article Comments



Aug-16-14 12:30 PM

Binge-Watch,' 'vape,' 'listicle,' 'live-tweet' among new words added to dictionary.

I had enough trouble with McGuffey's Primer. I think that I will work on that some more.

It is amazing how well many wrote so well with just an Eight Grade Education say back in the 1800's. Diary's of Civil War soldiers are a fine example and the handwriting was superb.


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