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Thu 31 July, 2014
Worries shape dictionary additions

Worries shape dictionary additions

Posted by: Robert Cotton | Last Updated: 25.08.2011

Concerns over climate change and financial matters have become sufficiently widespread to take words and phrases associated with them into the latest edition of a major dictionary.

Many new terms in The Chambers Dictionary come from worries about today's world. On the environment, people keep an anxious eye on "season creep" - the observed changes in the timing of the seasons, especially earlier indications of spring.

And to try to stop it happening, they don't just recycle, but also "upcycle" (turn waste products into higher value products), and "precycle" (reduce waste by avoiding buying products with a lot of packaging).

The recession, having hit high street banks (and savers' accounts), has also had an impact on the new edition of the dictionary.

Words such as "toxic assets", "double-dip" and "overleveraged" (having borrowed too much money and being unable to pay it back) have all entered the book.

Hundreds of new words have been added to the forthcoming edition - and nearly a quarter derive from internet culture.

So we see "minisode", a heavily abridged version of a TV show, especially broadcast online, and "crowdsourcing", which reflects the internet's power to reach large numbers of people at the click of a mouse.

The dictionary features more than 620,000 words, phrases and definitions and offers some witty definitions, for example "man flu" (facetious) - a heavy cold (from the idea that men tend to exaggerate the seriousness of the condition).

The Chambers Dictionary, 12th Edition, is published by Chambers Harrap, an imprint of Hodder Education. Hardback; approx 1,900 pages; price varies between £50-£40.

© Press Association

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