Posts Tagged ‘English’

Breaking News: Okay!

January 11, 2012

Breaking News: Okay!

Want to know America’s lingustic gift to the world? Okay.

No, that’s it, the word “okay.” If you travel or scan global broadcasting you’ll hear it used by speakers of many languages, but the word came from the USA, coined in 1839 by Boston journalist Charles Gordon Greene (1804-1886).

More:

“Did you know a journalist coined the word ‘OK’?” Mignon Fogarty, MuckRack

OK: The Improbable Story of America’s Greatest Word, Allen Metcalf (Oxford, 2010)

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Words of Summer

July 10, 2009

Words ofSummer

Just in time for your summer staycation reading pleasure, 100 new words and phrases have been added to the eleventh edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. You may have read about this in lexicographic fan fiction, but if you missed it, turn down that loud reggaeton, finish your schwarma, and click on these new items of semi-official American English.

Some new words like haram seem pretty kosher; others are phony as a sock puppet and we wouldn’t use them with our worst frenemy. Find new words you like? Text ’em to the whole flash mob.’

 

Image (after a WWII poster) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.