Saturday, September 3, 2016

Is a Demonym a Really Evil Synonym?

 
Hey, Look! It's Merlin!

A long time ago, in a dictionary far, far away, the Oxford English Dictionary arose, in 1857. Well, okay, it didn't just pop out then--that work took several years. But the Philological Society (no, it's not a society dedicated to guys named Phil; it's a group of folks who study language's origins) decided there were way too many dictionaries, and on one could agree on what's what, so they said, "Hey! Let's get the Oxford University Press together with James A. H. Murray (white-bearded, really smart lexicographer), and get this mess straightened out." And, Voila! The New English Dictionary was born, which became the Oxford English Dictionary.

Which brings me to some new words added to the OED in June of this year. They do updates every March, June, September, and December. Let's take a look:

  • Air punch: That's when you do that punch upward into the air, in an act of victory or celebration. Probably got started with Hunger Games, although air punches have been around for a long time. We just haven't been calling them that.
  • Demonym: A supposedly-catchy name for people who live in a certain region. For example, Dictionary.com uses this example:
    "Two demonyms for the residents of Michigan are Michigander and Michiganian." I don't know why they can't just say "residents of Michigan", but then, I'm not a lexicographerander.
  • Long trousers: Okay, I don't see the need for this one at all. The definition is: "trousers reaching to the foot." To me, that's just...trousers.
  • Sneakerhead: Someone who knows a whole heckuva lot about sneakers. Guess that's better than being an airhead.
  • Supercouple: Also known as a "power couple", that's a couple who are high-powered, influential celebrities. Perhaps we'll eventually get a definition for "stuporcouple".
And, there you have it. That's just a few of the new words added in June. Your assignment: make a sentence out of the new words, then do an air punch.

Keep writing, friends.

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