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It is really 'Toxic'

English is an ever evolving language and always ready to accept even commonly used words in other languages

Published On: 14-May-2019 01:05pm
Updated On: 14-May-2019 12:35pm
Author: V. Mohanan
Article Section: Arts, Culture, Literature

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis! Well, try to pronounce it. This is the longest word in Oxford English Dictionary (OED) which means a lung disease caused by inhaling ash or sand dust. 

Floccinaucinihilipilification is another longer word in the same dictionary which simply means valueless. 

Funny, are not they. Well, this is the 'new normal.' 

New normal is a financial term which came into existence after the global economic crisis in 2007. The term has since been used in a variety of other contexts to imply that something which was previously abnormal has become commonplace. Again this has become a new normal with writers and journalists.

 And talking of English, our former President Dr. Sarvappally Radhakrishnan was credited with coining a phrase using three "becauses" together in a sentence which reads, "No sentence begins in a 'because because because' is a conjunction."

All these examples were brought to say that English is an ever evolving language and always ready to accept even commonly used words in other languages. Many Hindi words have now become part of OED. 

So you will find endearing words like 'Abba' and 'Anna' to Indian delicacies like 'gulab jamun' and 'vada' there. As per the latest list of inclusions, 70 new Indian words from Telugu, Urdu, Tamil, Hindi and Gujarati languages have been added to the dictionary. 

Several most-commonly used words in India like 'jugaad', 'dadagiri', 'achcha', 'bapu' and 'surya namaskar' are now part of the OED.

The latest in the OED's adoption is the word 'Toxic' as Word of the Year 2018. 

Of course, toxic is not a new word and in the OED it means poisonous. So what is so great about Toxic being selected as the word of the year? Is it spewing venom at everyone using it?

 According to Oxford, the word of the year "is a word or expression that is judged to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year, and have lasting potential as a term of cultural significance." 

Oxford says "toxic" won the honour due to the sheer variety of things that people have been feeling are harmful to their health and happiness - " air, water, Presidents, politicians, partners, celebrities, etc, etc. Well, one can say it is really toxic.



Keywords

Floccinaucinihilipilification Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis toxic oxford dictionary economic crisis english