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Are more words added nowadays than before

 

Are more words added nowadays than before




On average between 500-1000 words are added to the Oxford dictionary every year.

It might feel like more words are added to the dictionary nowadays than compared with the 20th Century, but this isn’t necessarily the case.

One possibility is that as our connections and communications have developed, our ability to identify new words has become easier, and therefore it could appear that there are more new words today.

 

In conclusion, any word you can imagine could be added to the dictionary, it just needs to become popular first.

Once a word is commonly used across a variety of platforms by a diverse group of people it can then be considered for entering into the dictionary.

What’s more, our lexicographers developed a whole new entry for Black in reference to people, separating that meaning from the lowercase word black whose dozens of definitions range from senses extending from a core meaning of darkness, to related senses involving dirt, and even metaphorical uses involving evildoing. In the dictionary world, separating the people-related definitions of Black from the other definitions of black is a major—and extremely rare—move. As a rule, different senses of words that share an origin, as lowercase black and uppercase Black historically do, are included under the same entry.

It’s a rule worth breaking. Dictionaries are not merely a linguistic exercise or academic enterprise. What are the effects of Black, referring to human beings, being grouped together with black, which can mean, among other things, “wicked”? The effects are social. They are psychological. They are personal. How words are entered into the dictionary—especially words concerning our personal identities—have real effects on real people in the real world.

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