Ever wonder how newsreaders can pronounce difficult words in a foreign language with ease? Few will forget the tongue twister that was Eyjafjallajökull, the Icelandic volcano that disrupted air travel for weeks back in 2010, but their troubles didn’t end there. In recent months, poor newsreaders have had to deal with a series of foreign protests, a record-breaking marathon runner and a drama about a nuclear disaster, to mention just a few tongue twisters waiting to trip up the unsuspecting.
Nigerians have long taken English, the former colonial language, and made it their own. Now, their unique brand of Pidgin English has gone mainstream with the announcement by the Oxford English Dictionary that it’s added 29 Nigerian colloquialisms to its latest edition.
The rapid rise of Nigerian pop culture with Afrobeat, a flourishing ‘Nollywood’ film industry and popular fiction by the likes of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie have brought Pidgin English – a mix of English,
Is it just me or did an astonishing number of new words appear over the last few months? Language expert Adam Jacot di Boinod (‘Jacot’) has compiled a list so here’s my selection of vocabulary additions that I’ve noticed coming into everyday use:
Birth striker – A woman who nobly chooses not to have children for environmental reasons because she is concerned about the size of the world’s population.
Dog fishing – A man who poses with a pooch,
Image courtesy of S Hermann & F Richter c/o Pixabay.com
With the festive season almost here, Melanie Silver and all the Words etc team wishes you a Happy Christmas and New Year. Here’s to a great 2020 for all of us!
Why apostrophes matter
The apostrophe is the tiny but vital punctuation mark that makes the difference between knowing your sh*t and knowing you’re sh*t.
That’s why I was sad to spot a news story last week announcing that apostrophe defender John Richards has thrown in the towel. After dedicating nearly two decades of his life desperately trying to protect the apostrophe, which he calls “an endangered species”, the 96-year-old founder of the Apostrophe Protection Society has reluctantly conceded defeat: “The barbarians have won.