Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Oxford dictionary's most disappointing 2010 entries

Time's Newsfeed has a list of new words for the 2010 edition of what I thought was the English language's finest dictionary, Oxford. Some of these additions are strange: chill pill, chillax, buzzkill, cheeseball, tramp stamp. Crude and decades late to the party. Perhaps there is a waiting period for the more juvenile slang as other words that made it in such as paywall, staycation, freemium, and bromance are only a few years old.

The first list brings up a questionable trend with the inclusion of so many phrases. I suppose there are already many in the dictionary that don't look out of place, but I can see in a short time a clogging effect, especially with cumbersome entries such as social media, dictionary attack, national treasure, carbon capture and storage, quantitative easing, exit strategy, soft skills, and wardrobe malfunction. I find the last entry to be silly and academically distasteful. It is the equivalent of adding the annoying mid 80's phrase 'Where's the beef?'

Other odd entries include truthiness, automagically, interweb, matchy-matchy, tweetup, and hikikomori (the abnormal avoidance of social contact, typically by adolescent males). Reading the list gives one the sense that Oxford is trying so hard to be trendy, and political, that it doesn't look as confident with words as it should.

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