Saturday, January 2, 2010

Save the Queen's English!

Wired has posted an article about Lake Superior State University's 2010 Banished Words List, which can be found here.

The big offenders: tweet, sexting, chillaxin', app, and friend as a verb.

I have to say I'm kind of a fan of non-words. It's slang, and people fifty years from now will look upon it as quaint, I think. In the meantime, if someone knows the word 'app' is short for 'application', I'd rather use 'app'. And if I'm explaining something to, say, my mother, I will tell her 'app' is short for 'application, which is a program'. Not to mention 'app' has been used as a word long before Apple made iPhones by computer geek types; it's shorter than saying 'application'. That's what words do: they name something, a thing or concept or idea, and they are recognizable. In the case of slang like 'chillaxin'', I'd think the meaning of the word could be readily deduced. Made-up words have little place in academic papers and the like, but the rest of the time language may as well be fun. There's no need to be formal all the time.


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