Merriam-Webster’s dictionary has been around since 1828, a time when the world could not imagine the technology that we would have less than 200 years later. Or, the acceptable slang we use every day. Considering that there are hundreds of new words added each year, the dictionary keeps growing. Luckily, we can use the computer to look up a word rather than carry around a heavier book.
Language Evolves - Changes in American English in 2019
In April 2019, Webster’s added 640 words and in September 2019, the dictionary added more than 530 new words. The dictionary adds new words every year to mirror the culture’s need to makes sense of a changing world. New words can come from a variety of places:
- Old words having new meanings
- New Compound Terms or abbreviations
- Advancements in science and medicine
- Accepted business and legal terms
- Entertainment words
Some of my favorite words from April 2019 include the following:
- Gender nonconforming – it’s about time that this was added!
- Snowflake – someone unique or special or overly sensitive. I like to think of myself as unique but not overly sensitive. Am I a snowflake?
- Garbage time – that wasted time when your team is winning by tons of points, yet the final bell hasn’t rung.
And, how about favorite words from September 2019…
- Vacay – of course, I love this word. As a traveler, I love my vacays (vacations). Last year I took my teenage boys to India.
- Inclusive – the meaning tightened up to allow for the current meaning of “accommodating people who have historically been excluded”. In our business, it’s a standard term so – yes, let’s consider it a word.
- Coulrophobia – aww, an “abnormal fear of clowns”. I know it’s a thing – yet, why such a hard word for a sad situation.
- And, of course, pain point. That’s been around for awhile now. Can’t believe it wasn’t in before.
And, my favorite word this year – “they”. I no longer dance around a sentence to not say “he” or “she” when it could be either.
What’s your favorite “new” word? Let us know in the comments below.
Work with a Professional Translation Services Agency to Ensure Quality
Navigating the changes in language is part of a professional translator’s job. With so many new words, often different from one culture to another, it’s imperative for them to stay informed so that the documents, forms, websites and marketing materials that they translate on a daily basis are accurate and appropriate. Machine translation can’t pick up the nuance in these changes, especially with words that have been around for a long time but now have a new, added meaning – like “snowflake”.
To get an accurate, appropriate translation, work with a professional translation services agency that keeps up with these changes and guarantees their work – like Rapport International. We provide written translation and spoken interpretation services in hundreds of languages. And we guarantee you’ll be 100% satisfied.
Let us know when you are ready to get started.