5min 43sex #TEDEd clip – 5 sources for the 1000 new #English #words p.a. – like #meme – by Marcel Danesi

Excerpts from the you tube transcript


Every year, about 1,000 new words are added to the Oxford English Dictionary.


1) One way is to absorb a word from another language – like naïveté, machismo or schadenfreude.(nearly half of English vocabulary comes directly from other languages)


2) Or by combining existing words that each convey part of the new concept – like airport

3) Or by clipping and blending parts of words together – like spork,

4) Obsolete words gain new life by adopting new meanings – A geek went from being a carnival performer to any strange person to a specific type of awkward genius.

5) And other times, words come to mean their opposite through irony, metaphor, or misuse – like when sick or wicked are used to describe something literally amazing.



6) And sometimes new words appear when scientists or companies give an official name to a new discovery or technology – Take the word meme, coined in the 1970s by sociobiologist Richard Dawkins from the Ancient Greek for imitation.  He used it to describe how ideas and symbols propagate through a culture like genes through a population.  With the advent of the Internet, the process became directly observable in how jokes and images were popularized at lightning speed.  And soon, the word came to refer to a certain kind of image.  So meme not only describes how words become part of language, the word is a meme itself.

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