“Mentioning a faddy word will get us in the headlines!” says dictionary company

Every year, a number of words get added to the dictionary, and every year the oddest or faddiest of them make for national and international headlines:

‘Manspreading’ added to online dictionary

The act of “manspreading”, or sitting with legs wide apart on public transport, is among 1,000 new words to enter the online Oxford dictionary.

OxfordDictionaries.com issues quarterly updates on current definitions of English words.

Other new entries include Grexit, Brexit, hangry, beer and wine o’clock and NBD – meaning “no big deal”.

Source: BBC, 27th August 2015


11 weirdest words added to online Oxford dictionary from ‘bants’ to ‘manspreading’

Oxford Dictionaries have been having some bants with their new website update, adding more than 1,000 awesomesauce new words and phrases. It’s NBD though and if this all annoys you then maybe you’re just hangry.

Understand all that? ‘Bants’, ‘awesomesauce’, ‘NBD’ and ‘hangry’ are just a handful of the new entries that reflect current trends in the English language. Many of the nouns, verbs and adjectives will be familiar to the younger generations bringing them in, but there are still a number of unexpected additions that most people will need explaining.

Source: Independent, 27th August 2015


Why bants about manspreading at beer o’clock is NBD: 1,000 new words are added to the Oxford Dictionary

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.

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

New entries include manspreading, 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.

Source: Daily Mail, 27th August 2015


How much of this represents the natural changing of language, and how much of it is an overt attempt to grab headlines? The question could be answered by looking at how Oxford Dictionaries announce the new intake of 1,000 words in their official press release, which all of these media outlets picked up on:


It’s quite clear that of the 1,000 words admitted to the dictionary, it’s the ones with the most faddy usage that are prioritised in the press release – knowing that it’s these words that will generate the media headlines and gain the column inches the PR team desires.

Fiona McPherson, senior editor of Oxford Dictionaries, said the addition of multiple slang words did not represent a dumbing down of English.

She said: “There’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.”

What’s remarkable is that this story is exactly the same, year on year, every time new words and slang words are added to the dictionary. And every single year, the media run the story, complete with faux-outrage at the dumbing down of language.

Perhaps one of these years, ‘churnalism’ will make it into the Oxford English Dictionary


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