The Oxford English Dictionary has 166 words with first citations from 1983. In that year, the most productive source of neologisms appears to be computing, with hot keys, MUDs, sysadmins, spell-check, and WANs, among other words; technologies that would blossom in later decades make their appearance, like cellphones and print on demand; moshing, MIDI, and beat-boxes were sweeping the music world; and the genre of cyberpunk was getting underway.Read the rest of the article...
The Oxford English Dictionary has 200 words with first citations from 1982. In that year, British troops yomped to Stanley in their campaign against the Argies, although they probably would have preferred to ride in Humvees; veejays played a song that featured Valspeak; cyberspace became constrained by netiquette; and AIDS makes its appearance.Read the rest of the article...
24 Dialects in 8 Minutes
Quite a good dialect mimic here. He slips up from time to time (like saying “take a piss” when doing the American accent), but he’s really quite good.
Warning: there’s a lot of four-letter words, so it may be NSFW (not safe for work). Also, you may want to skip the lengthy intro and just dive into the accents which start at about the one-minute mark.
(Hat Tip: Geoffrey K. Pullum at Language Log)
The Oxford English Dictionary has 165 words with first citations from 1981. In that year, computing gave us multicast, auto-correct, and undelete; def B-boys were dancing on street corners; one could home school one’s child in the hope, or fear, that he might become a poindexter; and if things got too much for you, you could just take a chill pill.Read the rest of the article...
Lexical Dark Matter
(Tip o’ the hat to Languagehat.)
I just discovered this site that contains PDF versions of the volumes from Harvard’s Loeb Classical Library that have passed into the public domain. The volumes contain both the original Latin or Greek and English translations.
Tip o’ the Hat to J. J. Cohen at the In the Middle blog.
The Oxford English Dictionary has 162 words with first citations from 1980. In that year, the computer world was all abuzz about RISC, coprocessors, and Usenet; foodies smacked their lips over Buffalo wings; comb-overs weren’t fooling anyone; and the inventors of Rubik’s cube and the Walkman cashed in, ka-ching!Read the rest of the article...
The Oxford English Dictionary has 162 words with first citations from 1979. In that year, the world of entertainment brought us CDs, fluffers, karaoke, high concept, and improv; the Twinkie defense had its day in court; antiretroviral drugs and EpiPens were new medical advances; neo-cons squared off against New Agers; and high tech brought us SQL, email, and intranets.Read the rest of the article...
The Oxford English Dictionary has 188 words with first citations from 1978. In that year, POSSLQs were joining in coupledom, perhaps using bustiers and crotchless panties when things got boring in the bedroom; kids took to BMX and hacky sack; if you wanted to overwhelm someone you could give them a gazillion bytes in an info-dump; and the Laffer curve started to become a political favorite of the right.Read the rest of the article...
Are E-Books Truly Different?
Mignon Fogarty (a. k. a. The Grammar Girl) makes an excellent point about being surprised by an e-book’s ending. But I wonder if the question is not “is it harder to write an e-book?” but rather “how does the format of the e-book alter the stylistic requirements?”
Storytelling techniques do depend on the medium. Storytelling in television or the movies is very different from that of the stage or the physical novel. It should be no surprise that e-books, the good ones at least, would be written differently than physical books. Of course, e-books and novels are a lot more similar than novels and television are, so the differences are likely to be more subtle, but they should still be there.
I have no profound insights here on the future direction of literature; I’m just musing on the idea that the new form will impose new storytelling techniques and structures. Also, it’s probably too early to tell what those changes would be anyway. E-books are too new, and there are likely to be radical changes in the way they are formatted as we discover how people best consume e-text.
Copyright 1997-2013, by David Wilton