Who Drives Linguistic Change

Words like selfie, BitCoin, and even awesomesauce are used by millions of English-speaking people every day. Together, they form a body of new words, developed to address recent phenomena, that are steadily becoming accepted by dictionaries like Merriam-Webster and the Oxford English Dictionary. Well, selfie and BitCoin are. Awesomesauce has not yet been officially added to the OED, although it is recognized by OxfordDictionaries.com. These big and serious dictionaries are very careful when it comes to letting new words in. The OED, for example, added the word “waybread” last year, even though it was coined more than half a century ago by J.R.R. Tolkien. It takes time to learn which words are fads and which ones will stick around.

Read more: Grammarly

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