Twitter Words Fly a Long Way in 2009

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), December 30, 2009 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Twitter Words Fly a Long Way in 2009

WORDS such as Tweetup, staycation and jeggings provide a snapshot of Britain in 2009, says researcher Susie Dent.

The Countdown regular said language associated with the Twitter social networking site and the recession stood out in her scan of the Oxford English Corpus. Dent used the 2bn-word database of contemporary language to pick out her words of the last year which she believed encapsulated the preoccupations and lifestyles of 2009. She said words such as Tweetup, which means meetings organised via the website, along with Facebook references like defriend, showed the influence of technology on vocabulary. Staycation - to describe having a holiday at home rather than abroad - and the modern twist on a historic event, Great Recession, reflected the financial situation.

But she said her favourite word was the advertising catchphrase of a Russian meerkat which made a surprising entrance into common usage.

Aleksandr's "simples" has become a modern phenomenon for people to describe something that is very easy to achieve.

Dent said: "I think my favourite is probably simples, because it is proof of the dynamism of language as it is picked up through popular culture so that a word or expression is propelled into daily currency within weeks.

"We may not like it, and it may well not last, but it proves that English is moving quickly and is as robust as ever."

Susie Dent's top words of the year Bossnapping - noun: (in France) The prevention of senior managers from leaving company premises for a period of time by their employees, to protest about large-scale redundancies and cutbacks.

Zombie bank - noun: A financial institution whose liabilities are greater than its assets, but which continues to operate because of government support.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Twitter Words Fly a Long Way in 2009


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?