From the Editor’s Desk: Words, Our Most Endless Source of Magic | Opinion
American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne once said, “Words are so innocent and helpless as they are, standing in a dictionary. How powerful they become for good and evil in the hands of one who knows how to combine them. “
When Hawthorne collected several of his greatest masterpieces in the 1800s, he never dreamed of using the word “Bootylicious” in any of his works. But maybe it’s just because the word hadn’t been officially coined.
The term bootylicious was first used in 1994, while selfie was in 2002 – which word was first used in your year of birth?
The Preply online language learning platform team used data available from Merriam Webster to delve into the English language in the 1950s to find out when these words and phrases were first used. times in printed form.
Research revealed that loungewear was first used in 1957 and endangered in 1964. Wannabe was in 1976 while road rage was in 1988. More recent additions include shame fat in 2009 and adulthood in 2020.
The year does not mark the very first time the word was used in English. Many words were spoken long before they entered the written language. The year is the first written or printed use of the word or phrase.
It’s interesting to look at words that seem to have been around forever, only to find that they haven’t really been part of the vocabulary for so long.
Here are a few more from the Preply list: 1952-Global Warming, 1955-Empty Calories, 1958-Panic Attack, 1960-Hate Crime, 1963-Scam, 1966-Unisex, 1973-Detox, 1974-Ditzy, 1978-Eye Candy, 1983 – Ringtone, 1986-Cringey, 1990-World Wide Web, 1992-Photoshop, 1995-Bridezilla, 2000-Google, 2007-Hashtag and 2017-Ghosting.
With more than 5,400 new words created each year, these are the ones that have succeeded in making their way into everyday culture.
Daniele Saccardi of Preply says: “It’s really interesting to see the first print use of some of these words and phrases that are used in everyday conversation today. Language is constantly growing and evolving to adapt to modern society, and we can see that through this research, especially as technology becomes more apparent in our lives.
New words are often created by a Lexi connoisseur (someone who creates words), however, authors and writers may also be credited. William Shakespeare, one of history’s most recognized playwrights, coined 1,700 words in his life, including lonely, uncomfortable, elbow and hostile.
This is how the new words are created:
- Mix – merge two or more words together, for example Paralympics
- Clippings – shorten existing words, e.g. Sci-Fi
- Compounding – Add two words together to create new meaning, e.g. spray tan
- Affixation – Adding prefixes or suffixes to an existing word, e.g. sizeism
- Conversion – turning nouns into verbs, for example becoming an adult
Sometimes I am known to make up words or combine several words into one. For example, one of my favorite things to say when I’m really excited about something is to say it’s FANTASTIC! I guess it’s a combination of fantastic and absolutely glorious or delicious… I’m not really sure, but I love the sound.
I also have a few inappropriate made-up words up my sleeve which are for rare and very upsetting occasions. They are not suitable for the newspaper, but might well spread faster than fantastic.
When we were younger, every time my friend Becky Henderson hit her toe or had a piece of paper cut, she would say, “Aziwawa! First of all, I’m not sure if I just spelled this correctly. Second, it was the strangest thing I have ever heard. Third, sometimes strange things are catchy and even in adulthood now every time I hurt myself slightly I say “Aiziwawa” in my head. I would never say it out loud, that would be silly.
I believe words and language are such an intriguing thing. So much so that I saw words. Some words can come and go as times change, but it’s important to remember that the things we say do have a lasting effect. I have said it before and I will say it again, words have energy and power with the ability to help, heal, hinder, hurt, harm, humiliate and humiliate. And, in the case of “Aziwawa”, being hilarious.
I recently came across this saying: “Words are seeds that do more than blow. They land in our hearts and not in the ground. Be careful what you plant and be careful what you say. You may need to eat what you planted one day. ” -Unknown
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