Blog Archives

The Million Word Followup

As I mentioned earlier, the Global Language Monitor previewed the introduction of the one millionth word to the English language. Great publicity followed. They have returned two months later to declare that the one million word barrier has been surpassed. Fanfare abounds to celebrate this glorious day. And the GLM brand is once again associated […]

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Is 1,000,000 words possible?

The Global Language Monitor, which was born from the ashes of yourdictionary.com, focuses on trends in the use of language, primarily through automatic algorithmic readings of texts on the web. The latest news from the site (and you’ll notice, should you visit the site, that most of the “news” on the homepage is articles where […]

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Language Preservation Policies

Public policies aiming to preserve a national language are most commonly associated with small nations, whether they be small nation-states (i.e., Iceland, Ireland, and Estonia) or minority nations within a larger nation-state (i.e., Quebecois French, Basque, Catalan, and countless indigenous languages). Nevertheless, now many larger countries are taking action to preserve their majority languages. The […]

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Language Change and Politics:

While language change may occur at varying speeds and due to diverse and numerous causes, many changes have political roots or explanations. Much of language change, obviously, has come about from human migration and the use of a language by non-native speakers, with the influences of the phonetic, syntactic and morphological rules of the migrants […]

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New Words in English 2008

The Oxford English Dictionary, whose corpus of texts now contains over 2 billion words, recently released its list of new words for inclusion in the Eleventh edition in the Revised Edition of its Concise Oxford English Dictionary. http://www.askoxford.com/worldofwords/newwords/?view=uk Some of my thoughts: “Best”, as used in phrases such as “best of breed” is now in […]

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