Sunday, 7 March 2010

Meet the Glocals

Ok, so this is a bit rushed. I'm sorry. Some time in the middle of March, the OED should be adding some new words to their beloved dictionary, which gets people like me incredibly excited. I realised last night that I'd never commented on their inclusions from December, as they do them quarterly. So, I give you the highlights of the OED's December 2009 update. Have fun!

Blogosphere - That's right, I'm now writing this in a space recognised by the OED. Huzzah! This is an example of how thorough usage of a new word has to be before it's entered actually. This little baby's been with us since ol' 1999. Mind you, it might be a little outdated already. I wonder if "Twitterati" will find its way in?

Adultescent - Funny looking word, innit? That's because it's adolescence, but for adults. It refers to someone who's kept their teenage interests going much longer than most people. Oftentimes, you'd expect these sorts might be in the pop music industry, or in orbit around that area. I can't help but feel, sadly, that this is a word invented so society can avoid saying "people who need to grow up a bit". Not that the adultescents will notice, though, they're probably still in bed.

Conspiratorialist - So, how long did it take you to work out this was an American word? It's pretty much the same thing as a conspiracy theorist, except it sounds much more like a member of a cult, or something Bush would say. Actually, I've been noticing that with a lot of American nouns recently. Maybe it's worth looking into... maybe it's government mind control...

Glocalization - Now, this is an odd word. It means making something global and local. Doesn't make sense? I know, it confused me a bit, too. It's turning a world wide issue into a personal one. Example: "Climate change is destroying the ice caps!" could become "In 20 years, polar bears will live in your fridge!" See? Suddenly, it's a bit more pressing.

Taxflation - Yeah, there was always going to be one about money, wasn't there? It's all to do with paying more taxes as inflation makes you richer (remember the old days?). For such a serious matter, a word based on a play on sound ("taxflation" = "taxation") seems a little light-hearted to me. It's almost as if those people who play with money for a living are a tad careless...

Apartotel - Another one of these blended words. Place your bets on what it's a mix of! That's right, "apartment" and "hotel". In essence, a hotel room with self service, like an apartment. Interestingly enough, it started off life as a brand in Spain. It's a good bit of marketing, getting the name of the thing you deal in used as an everyday word.

-zilla - I've saved the best until last here. "-zilla" is a suffix, so you can use it at the end of most nouns, and make 'em mean something gargantuan, and comically over-sized, like what Godzilla was. The best example from the OED was a "thespzilla", an actor (thespian), so dominant and overbearing as to look stupid. "Bridezilla", by the way, even got a separate entry as its own word. I'll leave you to mull.

So these are some of the new words that entered the great compendium of the English language at the end of the naughties. Take a long, hard look, everyone. That's the past decade you could sum up right there.

Now, I've booked an apartotel, but my taxflation means I have to share it with an adultescent conspiratorialist I met in the blogosphere in my guise as a geekzilla. The room's in your garden, by the way, just to glocalize the situation.


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