Tuesday 27 September 2016

'Manspreading', 'hangry', make it to dictionary but it's NBD

Published 27/08/2015 | 00:09

No room for
No room for "manspreading" on a crowded Tube train

Britons are offending commuters by manspreading, revelling in bants with their friends at beer o'clock, and having a brain fart while talking about the Grexit, but it's NBD.

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Those are just some of the 1,000 new words added to OxfordDictionaries.com in its latest quarterly update, which reveals current trends in the usage of language.

New entries include man spreading, when a man sits with his legs wide apart on public transport encroaching on other seats, bants, short for banter, and NBD, an abbreviation of no big deal.

Beer and wine o'clock, describing the appropriate time of day to start drinking the respective alcoholic beverages, and brain fart, a temporary lapse or failure to reason correctly, have also been added to the free online dictionary.

Hangry, an adjective used to show feelings of anger or irritability as a result of hunger, is another new entry. The word has seen its usage increase since 2012, with a big spike in April 2014 connected to an American study about low glucose levels making people cross, according to Oxford Dictionary's language monitoring service.

Topical news terms have soared in popular usage. Grexit and Brexit, referring to the potential departure of the UK and Greece from the EU, and deradicalization, the action of causing a person with extreme views to adopt more moderate ones, are also included in the update.

Other new additions include bruh, describing a male friend, pocket dial, meaning to accidentally call someone while your phone is in a pocket, and mkay, representing the informal pronunciation of OK.

New words, senses, and phrases are added to OxfordDictionaries.com once editors have gathered enough independent evidence from a range of sources to be confident that they have widespread currency in English, but do not gain an entry into the Oxford English Dictionary unless continued historical use can be shown.

Fiona McPherson, senior editor of Oxford Dictionaries, said the addition of multiple slang words did not represent a dumbing down of English, but showed "creative" use of language.

She said: "T here's always been new slang words. I just think we are more aware of them because of the ways in which we consume and live our lives now.

"We are bombarded with more and more avenues where those sort of words are used and we just think that there are more of them. I don't necessarily think that's the case.

"From my point of view, as a leixcographer, it's not really about dumbing down, it's more creative ways that people are using language."

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