Language Lovers

How the Truth Got Cancelled

For many observers, the 2010s were the decade of fake news. In 2016, Donald Trump appeared to use the word ‘bigly’, which soon caught on as a humorously intensifying adverb, even though it turned out that Trump himself had actually said ‘big league’. And ‘bigly’ itself is attested as an… Read More

OK Boomer, Fishetarian, and Baby Yoda: Words in the News

If there’s one thing that never changes, it’s inter-generational antagonism. The current incarnation of generational conflict is between the Millennials (also known as Generation Y), born between 1981 and 1996 (according to some reckonings), and the Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964. And by now pretty much everyone has… Read More

What does ‘quid pro quo’ mean?

Latin is a famously dead language, but it was busy enough while it was alive that echoes of it can still be heard in the modern world. One particular Latin phrase has been front and centre in the news recently as the impeachment enquiry into the activities of President Trump… Read More

Plant-based, Sarawak, and Big Five: October’s Words in the News

A couple of months ago, the Impossible Burger brought us a new meaning of the everyday word, impossible. But, of course, Impossible isn’t the only brand of meat substitute on the block. In fact, the increasing attention on this new development in food culture has made plant-based… Read More

The rich tapestry of language provides a varied Word of the Year 2019 list

In a year dominated by contentious political issues as well as environmental concerns, it is hardly surprising that many of the words Collins’ lexicographers found coming to the fore during 2019 were either directly political in nature, such as ‘entryist’, or being used most frequently in political contexts, such as… Read More

Collins Word of the Year 2019 shortlist

Climate strike has been announced as the Collins Word of the Year 2019. climate strike (ˈklaɪmɪt ˌstraɪk) noun: a form of protest in which people absent themselves from education or work in order to join demonstrations demanding action to counter climate change Discover the rest of… Read More

These are strange, anxiety-inducing times – but there are reasons to be cheerful

These are strange, anxiety-inducing times – but there are reasons to be cheerful. That’s what the English language seems to be telling us in 2019. Having trawled websites, newspapers, magazines, social media, and everyday conversations, Collins’ lexicographers have detected an uptick in words linked to both environmental and digital derangement… Read More