The quarterly update of the Oxford English Dictionary was released at the beginning of this month, and with it came more than 1,000 new words and senses and nearly 2,000 fully revised or partially expanded entries. Many agree that the English language is tricky to learn, but with our words and phrases originating from Latin and Ancient Greek, as with other European languages, what has caused people to believe it is such a difficult art to master?
The English language is full of conundrums like the above – while the past tense of “teach” is “taught”, the past tense of “preach” is “preached”. Native English speakers tend to accept these rules without question – after all, they are used to them – however, if you’ve not been brought up with them, these rules can leave those trying to learn English as a second language rather confused!
That’s not to say learning English isn’t popular. In fact, we recently revealed that English is the most popular language to learn due to it being associated with higher education, business and administration in many countries. Not only is it useful, but it is fascinating. As with all languages, it evolves and matures, and with the world’s increasing reliance on digital communication and computing, it’s no wonder that the latest update to the OED includes popular internet-based acronyms such as:
FWIW – For what it’s worth
ICYMI – In case you missed it
ROFL – Rolling on (the) floor laughing
Here are some of our other favourites…
A type of camping trip involving luxury facilities and accommodation that aren’t typically associated with a traditional camping trip. The term pitched (pun intended!) its way into the dictionary from a blend of the words ‘glamorous’ and ‘camping’.
Glamorous campers, or glampers, tend to ditch sleeping in a tent in favour for either a yurt, treehouse, hut, teepee, or igloo. It is a way of experiencing the great outdoors, without sacrificing luxury.
An exciting addition to the OED, bish-bash-bosh is an informal phrase that can be used to describe the completion of a task or process with efficiency, especially if there were three stages involved in doing so.
A good example of this phrase in use would be when preparing something to eat, like a sandwich – butter the bread, chuck on the fillings, cut into triangles: bish-bash-bosh – you’ve got yourself a sandwich.
A fictional food item given in reward to the Hanna-Barbera characters Scooby-Doo and Shaggy in the popular cartoon series. The OED describes Scooby Snacks as being in the form of either bite-sized treats, or large layered sandwiches – both sound delicious!
A cheeky inclusion here! Budgie Smugglers originates from down under in Australia as a phrase to describe very tight-fitting men’s swimming trunks. The term was apparently coined in the ’90s but the shorts still remain extremely popular amongst tourists today.
The next update of the Oxford English Dictionary will be added in September 2016.