Wednesday, July 22, 2009


This is by Ed Pilkington in The Guardian reproduced in The Hindu few days back.

The irresistible power of the digital revolution to transform everything in its path has been confirmed, lest anyone still doubts it, by one of the arbiters of the English language itself.

Merriam-Webster, the revered publishing house known for its texts on American English, released on Thursday a sample of more than 100 new words it has granted entry into its Collegiate dictionary this year. Fully a fifth of them relate to technological innovation.

“Vlog” makes its debut, defined as a blog containing video material, as does “webisode,” that is a TV show that can be viewed through a website.

Some old expressions have finally made it into Webster years after they were coined, courtesy of renewed digital interest. So “fan fiction” is traceable back to 1944 but the writing of stories by fans involving popular fictional characters has boomed through posts on the web.

Likewise, the use of “sock puppet” to describe a false identity used for deceptive purposes originated in 1959, but its proliferation on the internet has given it new life. “Flash mobs” (1987) — crowds that descend on a designated location to perform an event — have become so common, thanks to email and text messages, that the phrase has now earned its place in the dictionary.

The green revolution also makes a strong showing, with “locavore” for a person who eats only locally grown food, and “green-collar,” referring to jobs designed to help the environment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Green Colour and Blue Cross are nice, colour coded new words :)