Thursday, August 14, 2008

'Credit crunch', 'wardrobe malfunction' squeeze into dictionary

'Credit crunch', 'wardrobe malfunction' squeeze into dictionary

LONDON (AFP) - Credit crunch, carbon footprint and electrosmog squeezed into Chambers dictionary Thursday, reflecting the world's belt-tightening and ecologically-worried times, its editor said.More prosaically, "wardrobe malfunction," "comfort food" and "nail bars" were also among a raft of new words and and expressions included in the latest print edition of a lexicographical tome.

The war on terror has brought "blue-on-blue" -- "accidental firing on one's allies" -- as well as "IED" (improvised explosive device) and "extraordinary rendition" into the Chambers-defined language.

But economic worries and climate change concerns generate a lot of new terms.

The global credit crunch, defined as "a sudden and drastic reduction in the availability of credit," has helped tip long-booming Britain to the brink of recession in barely 12 months.

Homeowners facing falling property prices for the first time in a decade are also all too familiar with "Hips" -- Home Information Pacs, a new officially-required document blamed with adding red tape and deterring buyers.

Hips in part aim to make houses more environmentally friendly -- a trend also reflected in "carbon footprint" and "eco-village" -- "a small-scale, environmentally friendly settlement designed for sustainable living."

"Electrosmog" -- electro-magnetic fields emitted by computers and mobile phones -- also adds growing environmental threats in the modern world.

On the scientific front "Blu-ray" -- as in the new DVD technology -- and "quantum computer" (one which uses quantum mechanics) joined hundreds of new entries deemed worth of definition.

Meanwhile "Wags" -- "a wife or girlfriend of a professional sportsman, especially one of group accompanying a travelling team" -- received Chambers' thumbs-up.

The dictionary also accepted "wardrobe malfunction" -- "the temporary failure of an item of clothing to do its job in covering a part of the body that it would be advisable to keep covered" -- as part of common language.

"The new words we added to this 11th edition of The Chambers Dictionary paint a vivid picture of current interests and concerns," said its editor-in-chief Mary O'Neill


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