Welcome back to our weekly thread about all things language. First, we have a small change to announce: these blog posts won't be weekly anymore. "What? But you literally just said" -- yes, I know. But we thought that shorter posts with a common theme every other day would be easier to process and more conducive to discussions than weekly digests. Ironic, that a digest would be indigestible...
Anyway, here are today's articles:
- It's always fascinating to watch languages evolve. Additions to major dictionaries consistently make national news, and often generate controversy. This piece evidences the increasing influence of Africa on the English language, how the continent is taking ownership of one of the legacies of colonialism: the Oxford English Dictionary is adding West-African idioms, and Nigerian authors are ever more present in English-language literary prizes. A nice illustration of what can be achieved by "rubbing minds together", as they say in Nigeria. Related: the majority of French speakers are already located in West and Central Africa, and a similar shift is expected to happen for Portuguese by the end of the century.
- Dictionary,com is making an effort to remove moral judgement and prejudice from their definitions of concepts that revolve around race, gender, sexuality, mental health, or substance misuse. A telling quote: "The work of a dictionary is more than just adding new words. It’s an ongoing effort to ensure that how we define words reflects changes in language – and life". And language and life changed quite a bit in 2020, if you ask me.
What are your thoughts?