The Five-Minute Linguist - Bite-sized Essays on Language and Languages Third Edition - Caroline Myrick

The Five-Minute Linguist - Bite-sized Essays on Language and Languages Third Edition - Caroline Myrick

9. What Makes a Word 'Real'?

The Five-Minute Linguist - Bite-sized Essays on Language and Languages Third Edition - Caroline Myrick

Anne Curzan [+-]
University of Michigan
Anne Curzan is Geneva Smitherman Collegiate Professor at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on the history of the English language, language and gender, lexicography, and pedagogy; her most recent book is Fixing English: Prescriptivism and Language History (2014). She also appears weekly on the segment “That’s What They Say” on local NPR station Michigan Radio.

Description

One could argue that slang words like ‘hangry,’ ‘defriend’ and ‘adorkable’ fill crucial meaning gaps in the English language, even if they don't appear in the dictionary. After all, who actually decides which words make it into those pages? What makes a word real?

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Citation

Curzan, Anne. 9. What Makes a Word 'Real'?. The Five-Minute Linguist - Bite-sized Essays on Language and Languages Third Edition. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 45-49 Jul 2019. ISBN 9781781798553. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=38128. Date accessed: 12 Nov 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.38128. Jul 2019

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