14 June 2010

Modern Slang

As the editors say in their introduction to this latest edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang, ‘A year, to paraphrase Harold Wilson, is a long time in slang’. In fact the principal difficulty in compiling lexical resources of this type is what to leave out – because a great deal of slang is very evanescent. Oxford University Press have the advantage of compiling their dictionaries from the huge ‘Corpus’ of recorded language use which makes up the data base from which their publications are compiled. This is a collection of examples of how the English language is actually being used, drawn from the printed word – from literary novels and specialist journals to everyday newspapers and magazines, and from Hansard to the language of chatrooms, emails, and weblogs. The database contains over two billion words, and expands at the rate of 350 million words a year ... more >>

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