New Words for 2014 – a Vintage Year?

So the Oxford English Dictionary has published its list of new words for 2014, the stand out entry being vape. This is probably a worthy winner of the ‘Word of the Year’ award, reflecting an exploding activity (not in the way the Fire Service would have us believe) which is set to continue to gain momentum over the short term.

Spending a large part of my life deeply involved with words, it should come as no surprise that I have more than a passing interest in each year’s dictionary intake. I won’t spend too much time on a word with which so many of us are familiar, preferring instead to look at a couple of the lesser-known additions.

normcore (n.): a fashion movement in which ordinary, unfashionable clothing is worn as a deliberate statement. How will we know if someone is making a statement or is simply disinterested in appearances?!

slacktivist (n.): one who engages in digital activism on the Web which is regarded as requiring little time or involvement. Also slacktivism. One of my personal favourites, reflecting all that is good and bad about the internet – distributing information and awareness far and fast, yet playing to our ever-decreasing concentration spans and info-overload.

duck face (n.): a (pejorative) term for a facial expression made by pressing one’s lips together into the shape of a duck’s bill, often performed in selfies. Zoolander did it, how did it become the standard selfie pose?

budtender (n.): someone who works at a medical marijuana dispensary or retail marijuana shop. Time, and legislation, will tell whether this word ingrains itself in the lexicon or fades away…

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