Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Oxford dictionary's word of the year in the 20th century

I wondered whether the British part of the Oxford University Press has a different Word of the Year from the American English one, unfriend, but I haven't found the answer yet.

However, I did find a list of the words that were chosen as most prominent, from 1906 to 2006.

I estimate thirty-four of those words are part of my regular vocabulary.


theregatha said...

what I find most scary about this new "action" is that someone can so easily wipe one out of existence/communication without any discussion or opportunity to know or learn from one's assumed mistakes.

parlance said...

Theregatha, I'm not sure what you mean. Can you explain a bit more?

theregatha said...

Sure, it is that awful thing one can experience one morning, afternoon, late at night, when they enter their series of facebook dalliances to check in with "friends". Suddenly one can be confronted with what has been described as cyber bullying, which of course is receiving much warranted concern and attention. What is also possible and does occur quite often is that one can suddenly be excommunicated, or in current terms, UNFRIENDED, by the simple tap of an icon.
Trying to explain to a person who is less socially confident than their peer group (or suffers from any anxiety related issues in relation to social connection)and relies on the internet for developing much of their social networking, that these relationships are not necessarily real friendships is fraught. Trying to console them when they experience a series of rejections, as in unfriendings, is even more salutory.

parlance said...

Oh, theregatha, now I get what you meant. It reminds me of an experience, many years ago, in the early days of the internet, when I was a member of a discussion group about the novels of Dorothy Dunnett.

The group was quite a high-power one, with multi-published authors, people who lectured at university level in literature studies, and, of course, ordinary people like myself.

I would post a comment, and no-one would reply. I literally felt as if the whole world had ignored me. I knew it was silly of me to take it to heart, but I did.

If, occasionally, my comment received any attention, I was thrilled.

I eventually made myself leave the group, because I cared too much about the opinions of these "friends" who lived somewhere else on the planet and didn't know me.