Word Stock.

We’re always adding new words to our lexicon. I often think we oughtn’t. New entries to the Oxford English Dictionary last year included “simples,” “chillax,” and “whatevs.” I’ll rest my case there. OK, of course, some additions are probably necessary. This year, a bundle have been added around the language of Covid-19 alone. (Or as AP would suggest, “COVID-19.”) I’ve been contact tracing them. Better, the Poynter Institute summarizes AP guidance on coronavirus-related word usage here.

As you probably know, OED does quarterly updates with new words, forms of words and definitions. Some of the most recent notations by OED involve “breadthening,” “skim-read,” “all-dressed,” “anaerobic digesters,” “white guilt,” “griefer,” “griefing” and “witness tampering.” (The newest of the new are here.)

Not to be outdone, Merriam-Webster reports the “Top Lookups” in addition to its “Word of the Day” and word histories, games and quizzes. I thought its piece on “gift” as a verb was interesting, if appalling. Spoiler alert: the use of gift as a verb is not new. Ew.

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