Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year Sums up 2016 Perfectly

By November 17, 2016Language, News

Every year, Oxford Dictionaries announced an international word of the year. That is one word that reflects the passing year in language, and the 2016 word is very telling indeed as we seem to be moving into a world where the truth is unimportant indeed.

The 2016 Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year is ‘post-truth’, and dictionary editors say usage of the word has leapt 2,000% in the last twelve months. The first spike in frequency for post-truth was during this year’s EU referendum vote in the UK with another spike reported during the US presidential election campaign.

The spike in usage is notable and reflects world events because post-truth is defined to describe the irrelevance of truth in today’s politics, as in “post-truth politics”. The official definition according to the OED is “Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

We’ve seen a year charged by political and social discourse, fuelled by the rise of social media as a news source. Already since the US presidential election we have seen Facebook and Twitter brought to task over false news stories as this year we have seen social media play a huge part in social trends.

It seems we are drowning in information, but starved of wisdom in this modern world and it’s a world that needs new words to reflect the fast changing shifts in morals and ideas.

With such a political and turbulent year, these weren’t the only political words to reach the shortlist. Both the new term ‘alt-right’ to describe a new generation of right wing voters, and ‘Brexiteer‘ to describe a EU out voter were in the running, plus several other words that have captured the craziness that has been 2016. Non political words shortlisted were adulting, chatbot, coulrophobia, glass cliff, hygge, Latinx and woke were also considered for the word of the year.

And that, according to Oxford is the year in linguistics.

What Happens When Predictive Text Botnik Re-Writes Harry Potter

By | Children's Literature, Language | No Comments
What happens when a community of writers, developers, and artists get together to create something strange and wonderful?


Botnik is described as “augmented content creation” and one of its most hilarious algorithms is the Predictive Keyboard. Taking a chapter from J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, a group of clever clogs at Botnik have re-written it using the predictive bot… Be warned: this reimagining will make you either laugh or cry, Potterheads!

Read More

30 English ‘Lost Words’ Discovered by Researchers

By | Language, News | One Comment
We’re passionate about language here at For Reading Addicts, without it we wouldn’t have all the wonderful literature we do. From obsolete words to words in other languages that don’t translate, we love a good language story and what follows is the best of ‘good language stories’. Researchers have discovered 30 undocumented ‘lost’ words, that is words that have fallen from use and are no longer recorded in the dictionary. Read More

5 Fantastic Finds for Reading Addicts with Sight or Hearing Impairments

By | Culture, Language | No Comments
Those with sight and hearing impairments have various systems to use in order to communicate including sign language and braille.

An early record of the idea of sign language was by philosopher Socrates who said: “If we hadn’t a voice or a tongue, and wanted to express things to one another, wouldn’t we try to make signs by moving our hands, head, and the rest of our body..?”

In Western societies it was as early as the 17th century when hand and finger movements were used to spell out words. The systems have evolved rapidly and now people with hearing impairments have the freedom to communicate as they please. The only disability is when those of us who have no such impairment have, for our shame, not learnt any sign language ourselves…

Read More

Lost Dictionary of Slang Written by Anthony Burgess Discovered

By | Authors, Language, News | No Comments
Writer Anthony Burgess is best known for his modern classic novel A Clockwork Orange, which centres around a gang who engages in ultra violence whilst speaking in a Russian-influenced style of slang invented by Burgess called ‘Nadsat’. Burgess was fascinated by slang and, over 50 years ago, began writing a slang dictionary, which was thought lost but has now been rediscovered. Read More

Leave a Reply