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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

This is not an April Fool (if you know what I mean, like)

Would you like  to hear something awesome? 

The author of the latest Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage hates some of the 250 new entries he has included such as challenging, issue and, you've guessed it, awesome, all of which are classified as clich├ęs.

Even worse, says Jeremy Butterfield,  is the word like in a sentence when used as verbal punctuation.  'Many people below the age of 25.... seem incapable of constructing a single affirmative sentence without at least one 'like in it,' he says in The Times this week.

His entry for 'achingly' features a jibe at "superficial and gushy journalists" who use the word to describe someone's attempt to be hip, rather than something that causes actual pain.  And as for people who drop their aitches - well that's another story.

Whether he likes it or not, language is changing all the time and a dictionary without the latest 'in' words would surely not be complete.

I  still have my school version of Fowler's Dictionary but perhaps it's time I got the updated version? 
Published this week by Oxford University Press the book is available here



Heather Burnside said...

It must be a difficult decision for the author to make when deciding which words to include because language trends change over the years. I wonder whether authors of dictionaries also withdraw words which have ceased to be fashionable.

Guernsey Girl said...

That's a thought for my next blog post, Heather! At least modern dictionaries explain the origin of words like gay before they made the transition...Ps - transition was just auto-correct ted to train station!