Squeezed middle: the section of society regarded as particularly affected by inflation, wage freezes, and cuts in public spending during a time of economic difficulty, consisting principally of those people on low or middle incomes.
By Susie Dent
Our final choice for the word of 2010, the coalition’s new dream of the big society, is no less a mirror of the times, in this case of the extraordinary political events of the year. The term’s success within a short period of time has been impressive, underscored by the ease with which it is now played upon: when the new PM visited China, both the Times and the Guardian headlined his challenge as ‘Cameron confronts the biggest society’.
By Christine Lindberg
Popular culture . . .
In 2010, much of our uneasy fascination turned from zombie banks to plain old zombies. Well, maybe not “plain old.” It’s been a phenomenal year for zombies, who have commanded huge markets in the entertainment industry and a seemingly insatiable fan base.
As zombies roamed the planet, another breed of “outsiders”—nerds and geeks—continued to transcend the “lowliness” assigned to them in the 1950s. Just a generation ago, the word gleek (a fan of TV’s Glee) would have been considered a putdown, but now it is more a term of affection and is wholly embraced by the gleeks themselves.
One of television’s most familiar out-of-step characters will be missed when Michael Scott exits The Office at the end of this season, leaving us to wonder if there’s anyone else who can make the totally resistible phrase “that’s what she said” so irresistible?
By Ammon Shea
Every year, a group of people at OUP USA put our heads together and come up with a Word of the Year. This is an example of a word (or expression) that we feel has attracted a great deal of new interest in the year to date. It need not have been coined within the past twelve months (although it generally is a new word). It does not have to be a word that will stick around for a good length of time (it is very difficult to accurately predict which new words will have staying power). It does not even have to be a word that we plan on introducing into the dictionary (at least, not unless it seems fairly certain that it will stick around for a while).
If you haven’t heard – well, how haven’t you heard? “Refudiate” is the New Oxford American Dictionary’s 2010 Word of the Year.
Refudiate has been named the New Oxford American Dictionary’s 2010 Word of the Year! Now, does that mean that ‘refudiate’ has been added to the Dictionary? No it does not. Currently, there are no definite plans to include ‘refudiate’ in the NOAD, the OED, or any of our other dictionaries.
If you haven’t already heard, ‘unfriend’ is the New Oxford American Dictionary ‘Word of the Year’. In honor of this announcement, I surveyed Facebook users across the country about why they would choose to unfriend someone. The results ranged from robots and rages, to baby photos and politics.
Ammon Shea reveals how the Oxford Word of the Year is chosen.
Birds are singing, the sun is shining and I am joyful in the morning without caffeine. Why? Because it is Word of the Year time (or WOTY as we refer to it around the office). Every year the ‘New Oxford American Dictionary’ celebrates the holidays by making its biggest announcement of the year.
Do you keep the tires on your car properly inflated to maximize your gas mileage? Have you removed the roof rack to streamline the car and reduce drag? Do you turn your engine off rather than idle at long stoplights? If you said yes to any of these questions you just might be a ‘hypermiler’.
‘Credit crunch’ is OUP UK’s Word of the Year.
Jessica Prentice talks about how she coined the word of the year.
Ben Zimmer looks a little bit more closely at the Word of the Year.
It’s that time of the year again. It is finally starting to get cold, and the New Oxford American Dictionary is preparing for the holidays by making its biggest announcement of the year. The 2007 Word of the Year is (drum-roll please) ‘locavore’; a trend in using locally grown, seasonal ingredients.
The Oxford word of the year is…