September 23, 2008
New words are constantly added to the dictionary, while others fall out of favour and disappear
Have you ever experienced calignosity? Have you ever heard someone say something that was absolutely fatidical? Did you ever wish a malison upon someone? Or are you wondering what the heck I’m talking about?
Collins Dictionary is getting ready to chop some words from the English language. Here’s a quick list:
Astergent – cleansing or scouring
Agrestic – rural, rustic, unpolished, uncouth
Apodeictic – unquestionably true by virtue of demonstration
Caducity – perishableness, senility
Calignosity – dimness, darkness
Compossible – possible in coexistence with something else
Exuviate – to shed (a skin or similar outer covering)
Fatidical – prophetic
Griseous -streaked or mixed with grey
Malison – a curse
Manseutude -gentleness or kindness
Muliebrity – the condition of being a woman
Niddering – cowardly
Nitid -bright, glistening
Olid – foul-smelling
Periapt – combative, antagonistic or contrary
Recrement – waste matter, refuse dross
Roborant – tending to fortify or increase strength
Vaticinate – to foretell, prophesy
September 10, 2008
Wadda you mean ‘il weekend’? Basta! It’s fine settimana!
The pervasiveness of the English language in our world today can be attributed to many factors, history, economy, and culture foremost amongst them. Counting close to two billion speakers, it’s easy to say that English is a global language and in many parts of the world is the lingua franca even if it’s not native language.
English shapes and forms the new trends in other languages thanks to this massive presence. One need only think of the English term “football” (soccer in North America) to see how the language has influenced other languages. The Spanish refer to the game as “futbol” and Serbs simply spell it “fudbal”. English loan words then undergo a process of adaptation to best suit the native language.
The French refer to the mixing of English and French as “Franglais” which quite often is seen as a degeneration of the native tongue. So much so is Franglais seen as a threat that the French government finances the Académie française to ensure the French nature of the French language.
As French culture has come under increasing pressure with the widespread availability of English media, the Académie has tried to prevent the anglicisation of the French language. For example, the Académie has recommended, with mixed success, that some loanwords from English (such as walkman, software and email) be avoided, in favour of words derived from French (baladeur, logiciel, and courriel respectively). Moreover, the Académie has worked to modernise French orthography.
Read the rest of this entry »