Our ever-expanding English vocabulary


Marketing and media online magazine The Drum has announced that the word ‘tweeting’ has broken the rules of English vocabulary by officially entering the Oxford English Dictionary, which usually dictates that a word can only enter the dictionary after being in current usage for at least ten years. Established in 2006, Twitter and its associated ‘tweeting’ action is still three years away from the OED’s limits, but the fact that it has entered early really shows that the digital revolution is exploding faster than we expected.

The OED has just released its new additions for June 2013, and as well as ‘tweeting’, there are plenty of other modern-day terms that are now common enough to be added to the most official vocabulary list of the English language. Below are some that I think could form the basis of a really interesting English lesson:

Flash-mob (n.)

Fracking (n.)

Veepstakes (n.)

Live-blog (v. and n.)

Post-racial (adj.)

You could ask your students to research the terms and then present their findings to the rest of the group. Some of these terms, such as ‘post-racial’ and ‘fracking’ could also be great for more in-depth discussions or debates.

And although you might not be able to build a whole lesson around my favourite new addition to the OED – the phrase ‘dad dancing’ – you might like to reward some hard-working students with the hilarious clip below, which shows the evolution of dad dancing and the associated moves:

Click here to see the video on Youtube


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