Archive

Are Brexiety and flextensions finally behind us?

As the clock struck 11pm on 31 January 2020, Brexit became a reality and Brexiteers (supporters or architects of the withdrawal of Britain from the European Union) held celebratory parties across the UK. Remainers gathered too, brandishing placards mourning Britain’s departure and reaffirming their belief that the country… Read More

What put the corona in the coronavirus?

If you had never heard of a coronavirus before this year, you certainly will have now. As alarm increases about the spread of a new strain of this virus around the world, some people have been wondering about the significance of the word ‘… Read More

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

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

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

Impossible and Tardigrade : August’s Words in the News

When you write a blog about “Words in the News”, it’s easy to assume the best words will be neologisms: literally, “new words”. But, in truth, the thing that makes my lexicographer’s heart go pitter-patter are new uses for old words. I love it when an established, even common word… Read More