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.

New Book Examines Relationship Between British and American English

By | Language, New Releases | No Comments
Lynn Murphy is one of our favourite linguists as she so often speaks of the differences between British and American English. Murphy is an American in the UK and the Linguists Professor at Sussex University. She runs a blog ‘Separated by a Common Language’ and has thousands of Twitter followers, and now she’s released her first book on language. Read More

Vigilante Artist Targets Messy Graffiti Writing

By | Arty, Language | No Comments
An artist in Europe is currently critiquing tags left by graffiti ‘artists’ by painting over them and replacing them with easier to read fonts. Mathieu Tremblin was born in Le Mans in 1980, and currently lives in Strasbourg, France, and travels Europe finding ways to subvert street art and advertisement.

From his website:

“Tremblin implements graphic processes of intervention inspired by anonymous, autonomous and spontaneous practices and expressions in urban space in order to question the systems of legislation, representation and symbolization of the city. He works with site specific urban intervention, performed walk, tools design, détournement of objects and uses publication, installation, photography and video to document or reinvest of his experimentations.”

If you have ever wondered what those scribbles on the walls actually mean then Mathieu is here to help. Check out some images below.

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11 Jokes Only The Most Intelligent Readers Will Understand

By | Inspired by Literature, Language | 2 Comments
Take a break from expanding your mind with great literature with these silly jokes.

As a Reading Addict you probably know by now that reading makes you smarter, kinder, and fills your pockets with candies and weaves flowers in your hair.

Ok so those last two may be untrue, but it’s worth trying, right?

Is there a better way to feel smart and brilliant than laughing at a clever pun or quip? This is your chance to prove your intelligence with some ridiculous jokes found on the internet.

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