Never at a loss for words: New language for the pandemic
today at 9:48 pm
I’m always interested in news about language. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has an intriguing newsletter called News Daily which occasionally looks at language in various subject headings. Today (July 17) it’s in Worklife, and the story (dated May 24, but in today’s newsletter) is “Why we’ve created new language for coronavirus.”(For the whole story, click here.)
It’s not all coining new words, as writer Christine Ro points out; it’s mostly using older words in a new light or just getting them out into that light. Still, all the new usage has been enough to cause an uscheduled update to the Oxford English Dictionary.
The only new word among all those new definitions and usages, Ro’s story notes, is COVID-19 itself.
Somewhere in the Imaginary Writers’ Room in my mind, I can hear a warm Scots voice saying “Elementary.”
Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook.