Thursday, 2 October 2008

I'm nomophonic

The Daily Mail reports that 2008 has given the English language more than 100 new words and phrases which capture modern life, according to experts. And while previous years have given us bling, bovvered, chav and carbon footprint, many of this year's most popular words and phrases reflect the economic crisis.

Credit crunch has dominated the headlines in recent weeks, but other increasingly familiar financial terms are included in a round-up of the words of the year. They include stagflation, the economic term for stagnant growth and rising inflation, and funt - the financially untouchable.
But it's not all economic doom and gloom. The list compiled by dictionary expert Susie Dent, also includes nomophobia, the fear of being out of mobile phone contact, and nonebrity, a person who enjoys status without anyone really understanding why.

Current events are also reflected in the list, including arguido - the Portuguese word for suspect - after the Portuguese police named Kate and Gerry McCann as official suspects in their daughter Madeleine's disappearance, only to clear them ten months later.

Cripes has made it in after Boris Johnson almost single-handedly resurrected the expression during his campaign to become London Mayor. Writing in Words of the Year, Miss Dent said: 'It is now rather sweetly old-fashioned and confers an air of naivety on the speaker.' Miss Dent, the resident language expert on Channel 4's Countdown quiz show, said the words and phrases were chosen because they captured the spirit of 2008. She said: 'Some are new words which have come into use and others are established terms which have been resurrected.'

From the U.S., momnesia is the term for 'a pattern of mental confusion and forgetfulness that characterises a mother's first year after giving birth', according to Miss Dent's Words of the Year book, published today.

Pessimistic individuals are doomers, while moofers are mobile out-of-office workers and scuppies are socially conscious urban professionals.

A YouTube divorce is an acrimonious marriage break-up in which a spouse airs their former partner's dirty laundry on the video-sharing website.

Miss Dent said the new words gave the English language more power. She added: 'You may hate momnesia and nomophobia but few of us could deny that when we first heard them, we weren't just that little bit curious.'

Have you heard any new words or phrases making their way into the classrooms?

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