Al Jazeera English continues with their special series, the Mainstream Media’s Dictionary.
caliphate. n. Future involving Ayman Al-Zawahiri sitting on a throne watching bearded footballers in long shorts contesting the Islamic Cup final in Seville.
catastrophe. n. Good way to describe an earthquake or tsunami. Add “of biblical proportions” to increase viewership.
caucasian. adj. Let’s leave the suspect’s race out of this, it’s not relevant.
cheerleader. n. See journalist.
Moving on to selections for the letter ‘D’:
darling. n. Last known positive description, after ally, to describe third world leader before we start using strongman, dictator.
dead. n. See newsworthy.
defiant. adj. Use this word to describe any speech by dictator. Content needn’t be noted.
dehumanising. v. tr. Effects of militia attack that killed the child, not exacerbated by the journalists who require the grieving eyewitness mother to describe the ordeal (preferably with tears) in a thirty second soundbite. If it’s over thirty seconds, get her to do it again until she gets it right.
disaster. n. Conflict and catastrophe-free 24 hour news cycle.
disinformation. n. The other channel.
Today’s text message-sized abbreviations can quickly become tomorrow’s lingua franca. While they were once slang words typed into phones and chat windows by sluggish netizens, the abbrevs, OMG, LOL, and FYI have become legit with, their inclusion in one of the English language’s most respected reference books the Oxford English Dictionary. Announced today:
Graeme Diamond, chief editor of new words for the Oxford dictionary, explained what it takes for a new word to make the grade: “You have to show that the word has been in usage for a decent length of time and, most importantly, that the word is used and understood by a wide audience.”
The Oxford English Dictionary heralds itself as “the last word on words for over a century” — and, with four updates each year, it certainly keeps up and keeps “hip” (slang), with the English language.
Bona fide and coming to a crossword puzzle near you.