If You Can Say It Or Spell It
Whenever someone utters a word that just doesn’t sound quite right, I will wonder aloud, “Is that even a word?”
My husband’s reply: “Well, they said it so it must be a word, right?”
Right. I guess.
There was a time during my high school years that I was a real stickler for “proper” English. Somehow, after I finished college, my attitude was more relaxed. Yes, proper English is important. However, a living language such as ours is constantly evolving, and you have to give it some flexibility to expand. I must admit, though, I’ve cast a doubtful eye on some of those expansions.
Back in August, the Oxford Dictionary of English released a list of 2,000-plus new words and phrases that had recently been added to the beloved tome. The new words were a result of the analysis of countless words used in everything from the financial sector to the Internet, and even World Cup soccer games.
Following is a brief list of some of the words and their meanings.
Bargainous: costing less than usual
Bromance: a close but non-sexual relationship between two men
Buzzkill: a person or thing that has a depressing or dispiriting effect
Cheeseball: lacking taste, style, or originality
Chillax: calm down and relax
Defriend: removing someone from a list of friends or contacts on a social networking site
Frenemy: a person with whom one is friendly despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry
Interweb: the Internet
LBD: a little black dress
Overleveraged: having taken on too much debt
Quantitative easing: the introduction of new money in to the money supply by the central bank
Staycation: a holiday spent in one’s home country
Tweetup: a meeting organized via posts on Twitter
Vuvuzela: a long horn blown by fans at soccer matches
Wardrobe malfunction: an instance of a person accidentally exposing an intimate part of their body as result of an article of clothing slipping out of position
In light of these new words, my new philosophy regarding “proper English” might be: If you can say or spell it, it’s a word.