This week, I am at the annual IATEFL (International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language) conference  in Birmingham, UK. Yesterday, I gave my first presentation at a pre-conference event for Business English teachers and it was well-received. Thank you to my fellow teachers.

The conference started today and the opening talk was given by Professor David Crystal, a leading expert in linguistics and patron of IATEFL. He is an excellent speaker and it’s always a joy to listen to him.

Today’s talk was entitled: “Who would have thought it? The English Language 1966 – 2066”. The main point of his talk was to look at how the English Language has evolved since IATEFL was founded in 1966. One of the areas he focused on was on the speed at which  new words and expressions continually appear in the English Language, especially since social mobility, globalization and the Internet became part of our daily lives.

And to illustrate this point he shared a selection of new words and expressions that have entered the English dictionary since January of this year (2016). He’s taken the information from Cambridge Dictionary. I feel compelled to share them with you here because they are simply wonderful and dare I say it, ingenious. I have added a couple more I found on the Cambridge Dictionary Online Blog, About Words.

Dude food (noun) – food that is said to be favoured by men (hence dude), often including meat

Wasband (noun) – a former husband  (was + husband)

Grey gapper (noun) –a person of retirement age who takes a year out of their normal life to go travelling
The word “gapper” comes from “gap year” which refers to young people who take a year out after school and before university to go travelling around the world. A “gapper” refers to the person. The reference to “grey” is linked to the fact that we older people end up having grey hair!

Switch and swipe generation – the younger generation who, it is claimed, experience more change in their lives than their parents, especially in their sexual partners, homes and jobs
“Switch’ means change and “swipe” is what we do on our smartphones or tablets when we move from one screen to another.

Slashkini (noun) – a one-piece swimsuit with lots of cut-outs, giving the appearance of having been slashed
I might just buy one for the summer!

Farecasting (noun) – predicting the optimum date to buy a plane ticket, especially on a website or using an app
We use the word “fare” for plane, train and taxis instead of prices.

Instafamous (adjective) – becoming famous through posting selfies to social networking service Instagram
How many people do you know who’ve become famous that way?

Uberize (verb) – (of a business) to change or be changed into an app-based, on-demand service
I love this! Do you know other  businesses that have uberized?

Manel (noun) – an exclusively male panel (of speakers, interviewers.

Mansplain (verb)A man who explains something to a woman about something which she already knows!
My favourite!!!

Take a look at the Cambridge Online Dictionary Blog. It’s such fun scrolling through the new words. Why not pick your favourites and share them with me and your fellow readers?

If you think your friends and colleagues would enjoy discovering these words, please share this post. And don’t forget to subscribe (see below) to get my FREE guide on better communication and my weekly posts.

Ciao for now

Shanthi

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