Category: Grammar Notes

‘Whatever’ Voted Most Annoying Word, but I Nominate the Overused ‘Awesome’

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A Marist poll (don't they have better things to do?) has revealed that Americans find whatever to be the most annoying word used in everyday English.

Nearly 39 percent of 1,020 Americans questioned in the survey deemed it the most irritating word, followed by like with 28 percent and the phrase you know what I mean at 15 percent.

I guess whatever can be viewed as dismissive if not downright disdainful depending on the manner in which it's spoken.

However, I nominate awesome, which is overused, abused, and basically meaningless. It's more like a grunt than a statement.

Whatever, I guess it doesn't matter what I think.

Categories: Grammar Notes News

Vuvuzela Joins New Words in Oxford Dictionary of English Language

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(Stolen shamelessly–and corrected grammatically–from a Reuters report)

Vuvuzela (the ubiquitous plastic trumpet ever-present at the recently concluded World Cup) is among 2,000 new words and phrases added to the third edition of the Oxford Dictionary of English, published on Thursday, Aug. 20. The dictionary is compiled from the analysis of two billion words used in everything from novels to Internet message boards.

The credit crunch features heavily in this year's additions, with terms such as "overleveraged," having taken on too much debt, and "quantitative easing," the introduction of new money in to the money supply by the central bank, among those included.

"Staycation," a holiday spent in one's home country, and "bargainous," costing less than usual, also reflect the hot topic of belt-tightening among consumers during the economic downturn.

The rise of "social media," itself a new term, has spawned several additions, including "defriend," removing someone from a list of friends or contacts on a social networking site, and "tweetup," a meeting organized via posts on Twitter. Other words include:

  • Bromance: a close but non-sexual relationship between two men
  • Buzzkill: a person or thing that has a depressing or dispiriting effect
  • Cheeseball: lacking taste, style or originality
  • Chillax: calm down and relax
  • Frenemy: a person with whom one is friendly despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry
  • Interweb: the Internet
  • Wardrobe malfunction: an instance of a person accidentally exposing an intimate part of their body as result of an article of clothing slipping out of position.