Tag Archives: dictionary

312. The Words of the Year (Part 3)

Here’s the third part in this series about the Collins Dictionary Words of the Year 2015. Listen to the episode to hear Amber, Paul and me discuss the rest of the words in the list. I’ll also explain and clarify some vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation from our discussion. There are vocabulary notes below.

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Welcome back to another episode of LEP. We’re still talking about the Collins Dictionary Words of the Year.
This is the third episode on the series, and we still have about 7 words to deal with.
I think we can wrap this up inside one episode, but let’s see.
I’m going to keep this intro as short as possible because recently my introductions have got out of control.
So, let me keep it short and simple.
This is the 3rd part in a mini-series about The Collins Dictionary New Words of the Year.
I’m joined by Amber and Paul and we’re talking about this list of new words that Collins are putting into their dictionary this year.
These are new words and their use in both spoken and written form has increased significantly over the last 12 months.
Collins consider them worthy of addition into the dictionary.
But what are these words? What do they mean? And why have we been using them a lot lately?
Amber, Paul and I are going to explain them for you and just ramble on a bit as well.
I’ll play you all of our conversation but every now and then I’ll pause the podcast to explain things you’ve heard in our conversation.
That way you get the best of both worlds: you can listen to us talking to each other naturally, but also you can pick up a lot of new language when I break it down and explain it to you.
Alright, so without any further ado, let’s get started, and here’s word 7 in this list of 10 new words.

Word 7 – “manspreading”
manspreading (noun): the act or an instance of a male passenger in a bus or train splaying his legs in a way that denies space to the passenger sitting next to him
To take up space
well-contained within my seat allocated space
Not spilling over
You’re obliged to sit there, coyly, between his legs
Splaying his legs
You’re sitting there, minding your own business, not taking up much space…
His leg is pressing up against your leg.
If they were a bit too scary I probably wouldn’t say anything. I’d probably just cower.
He went out into the, whatchacallit, into the corridor.
whatchacallit
whatsisname
a thingamajig
a thingamybob
a widget
The corridor in the bus (or the aisle)
Suddenly the bus put the brakes on and he went flying.
Small kids, the metro stops suddenly or people get on and they crush them, they don’t even notice them, so they stand on them.
Children aren’t that strong holding on.
They’re hyperactive. They want to, like, run around.
A grumpy tired child is not good for anyone.

Word 6 – “ghosting”
Ghosting
The act or an instance of ending a romantic relationship by not responding to attempts to communicate by the other party
You’re not manning up or womaning up if you do that (to ‘man up’ = to be strong and act like a real man, or woman)
We got jiggy with it (like the Will Smith song, but in this case it means that we’d had sex, or ‘sexy time’)
Ghosting someone as a way of finishing a relationship is lame. All it takes is a bit of honesty.
It did do my head in for a while. (expression)

Word 5 – “dadbod”
Dadbod
An untoned and slightly plump male physique, especially one considered attractive
Broad shoulders
well-toned muscles
six-pack
I’m a bit more laid back
Comparatively, you’ll feel all saggy and not attractive
Landscape gardener
“Don’t all rush out at once!” (Sarcasm – Paul’s saying that nobody’s going to come. This is a typical way to be sarcastic. E.g. “Don’t all rush out at once!” or “Don’t sound too enthusiastic!” or “Don’t get over excited” or “Don’t everyone rush to my help or anything”)

Word 4 – “corbynomics”
Corbynomics
The economic policies advocated by Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK Labour Party from 2015
Reaganomics

Word 3 – “contactless”
Contactless
Referring to payment systems which use RFID technology and do not require the customer’s signature or pin number
To type in a pin or sign
contactless payment
Card details
We’ll be floating around in pods
It’s all going to become fingerprint eyeball scanning, thing.
That’s probably what’s going to happen

Word 2 – “clean eating”
Clean eating
The practice of following a diet that contains only natural foods, and is low in sugar, salt, and fat
If the WHO comes up with it
Audiobook recommendation: Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss

Word 1 – “binge-watch”
Binge-watch
To watch a large number of television programmes (especially all the shows from one series) in succession
I can’t help myself
Flipping heck
Flippin’ ‘eck
I find myself pushing the pram around
YOu’re so tired you can barely stay awake to watch it!
Jack Bauer’s Power Hour (what does this mean? N.Irish accent)
The Beatles book – hefty, fat, an extremely large tome, an exhaustive book,
How much of it have I actually read? (pron – weak form of ‘have’)
I finished the whole thing in no time
Audiobook recommendations: David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, read by Martin Jarvis, The Beatles – Tune In: All These Years, by Mark Lewisohn, The Dummies Guide to British History and You Say Potato by David & Ben Crystal.
(stop after I mention “You Say Potato” )

Add some negative comments from The Guardian’s comment section
Here’s a comment from a Guardian reader who basically disagrees with the implied suggestion that there’s some guilt involved in watching many episodes of a TV show back-to-back. RayMullan (pointing out the negative association with the word ‘binge’)
Given that I spent most of my free time last weekend working my way through A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James, was I binge–reading? Of course not. That’s the only way to enjoy a good book. The beauty of bulk access to serialised film and television productions is that we can view an interesting programme in much the same way.
The requirement to follow a serial at a fixed point in the day over several weeks or months are long gone, thankfully. I was barely able to follow the broadcast of Wolf Hall last year, missing one and a half episodes quite simply because I had other things to do. In fact I’m sorry I didn’t just wait for the DVD release and enjoy the production in my own good time — no “binging” about it even if I choose to watch all six parts in a single evening.
Collins should really take a leaf from le livre de l’Académie française and exploit some discretion when it comes to faddish language patterns of teenagers and inarticulate young adults. Most of these new “terms” reflect lazy intellects blunted by the networked chatter of buzzfeeds and will amount to little but crude embarrassment a couple of years from now.

But I think that’s the point – Collins will see if we’re still using these words in 2018 when the printed dictionary comes out. Some of them might survive, some of them might fall away. It depends on what we’re all doing in a few years.

Listen to the post-chat – You’ll hear a quick memory test for the words. Can you remember them all? See if you can guess them from memory.

OK I’M GOING TO STOP NOW! :)

Final thing: I’ve done a lot of explaining in this episode. I want to know if you like that or not. You know I think it’s useful but I want to know what you think.
So, a couple of quick questions:
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I will take your comments into account, but in the end it’s Luke’s English Podcast – I’m the boss and I have the final word!

Thanks for listening to the end, you are a wonderful human being and the universe is smiling on you right now.

Remember, the force will be with you… always…

Bye

Here’s some other stuff you heard in the final part of our conversation:
I’m a bloody bloke (bloody – just an old swear word for emphasis, and a bloke is a man of course)
To nationalise the railways (when the state buys something which is privately owned, like the railways for example. The opposite is to privatise something)
Some more chat about drinking games you could play while binge watching, if you want to binge drink and binge watch at the same time (not recommended).
What’s a drinking game? It’s just a fun way to get drunk. There are various games with different rules. I dread drinking games these days because I can’t drink much alcohol any more. People sometimes play drinking games while watching films or TV shows. E.g. taking a drink every time a character in the TV show does something in particular. We mention House of Cards (Frank talks to the camera), Homeland (Claire Danes’ character cries), The X-Files (Scully expresses scepticism etc) and The Walking Dead (when someone kills a zombie, or when you see certain kinds of zombie).
One of the last phrases you’ll hear is “and on that bombshell!” (this is how a comedy character called Alan Partridge ended one of his shows, and then it was taken by Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson as the way to end a TV show. It is used as a sensational end to a broadcast. A bombshell is a sensational moment – for example, a sudden piece of news or a shocking moment. POW! And that’s the end!
words of the year 3

311. The Words of the Year (Part 2) *contains some rude language

Welcome to part two of this series about the Collins Dictionary Words of the year 2015. In this episode you’ll hear me discuss these words with Amber and Paul. I’ll also explain and clarify a lot of the things you’ll hear in our conversation. You can listen to the episode, download and also read vocabulary notes below.

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***This episode contains some rude language and explicit content.***
Recently I had Amber and Paul over to the flat and we talked about this list of new words that Collins are introducing into their online dictionary this year. These are all new words we’ve been using a lot this year. Collins have judged them to be worthy of recording in the dictionary. They all relate to new trends in our culture over the last year.
In this series I’m playing you chunks of the conversation with Amber and Paul, and then pausing that and clarifying some of the grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation that you heard.
So, you’re getting to hear some natural conversation, but also you’re getting some intensive language teaching too. Hopefully this is the best of both worlds for you as a listener.

Now, without any further ado, let’s carry on. Let me now play you the next conversation chunk. Here it is – this is word 10 in the list of 10 words. Here we go…

Word 10 – “transgender”
transgender (adjective): of or relating to a person whose gender identity does not fully correspond to the sex assigned to them at birth
He’s transgender.
She’s transgender.
Transgender issues.
He was held up as a great example of an American athlete. (to be held up as something)
He identified as female. (to identify as – this is the expression used to say that someone feels like they have a particular identity, particularly in relation to ethnicity, gender etc – e.g. the case of Rachel Dolezal, who worked as a civil rights leader in Washington. She was criticised in the media (shamed) for lying about her ethnicity – she basically tried to pass herself off as black while campaigning for equal rights issues – but she was actually white. Even her parents were in the media saying “yeah, she’s caucasian”. Pretty weird thing to do, and lots of people got angry saying “you can’t just say you’re black and pretend to be a victim of discrimination, when you’re blatantly white!” When criticised for this, she just said “I identify as black” – not “I am black”. This was also a trending story this year. www.buzzfeed.com/claudiakoerner/a-civil-rights-leader-has-disguised-herself-as-black-for-yea#.tiM247b0q
Transvestism / Transvestite (a transvestite is different to a transgender person. Transgender = a man who identifies as a woman even though physically he’s a man – or the other way around, and a transvestite is a person who enjoys dressing as a member of the opposite sex, for whatever reason – usually this is a man who likes dressing as a woman. For some reason this is far more shocking than a woman dressing in male clothes, which nobody seems bothered about)
3 positions (basically): 1. It’s a good thing 2. It’s a bad thing 3. I don’t really care either way.
She’s old school (Germaine Greer). She’s an old school feminist. (old fashioned)
Her position about what feminism should be and how we should address it was important but it has changed and I think she’s not changed with it.
(I talk over Paul quite a lot when he’s talking about same-sex marriage – sorry Paul)
Cisgender (adj)
To misgender someone (not some sort of transgender competition, it’s a verb which means ‘to wrongly gender someone’)
Mx (Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms and now Mx)

Word 9 – “to swipe” (there’s some rude language and rude content here)
swipe (verb): to move a finger across a touchscreen on a mobile phone in order to approve (swipe right) or dismiss (swipe left) an image
Swipe was already a word, but this is the specific use of ’swipe right or swipe left’ to mean “accept or reject someone on a dating app”.
Tinder (app)
“Tinder” (“TINder??” pronunciation with surprise and disdain)
to sign up
The unwritten rule
To make a match
I will “do” anything (“do” here means “have sex with”)
Naughty pictures.
Dick-pics
Tit-pic?
‘Pussy’-pic?
Don’t go there.
You’re going there.
He’s dipping his toe in.
He’s taken pictures of his phallus. (other words for a penis. Medical/clinical words: penis, phallus. Informal but not rude: willy. Suggestive but not swear words: tadger, member, private part(s). Rude words: prick, cock, dick.)

Jon Ronson - So You've Been Publicly Shamed
Word 8 – “shaming”
shaming (noun): attempting to embarrass a person or group by drawing attention to their perceived offence, especially on social media
To be publicly shamed
She was trying to be funny by awkwardly implying that it’s very unfair.
There is this massive problem in Africa, and it’s less of a problem in Europe.
If you put that on Twitter the chances are people are going to misunderstand and they’re going to have a knee-jerk reaction, and they will respond in a very angry way.
An Über driver got beaten up by an executive of Taco Bell.
He was completely wasted and completely off his face.
He was slurring his words (remember that one?)
There’s something un-just about it.
You’re making a judgement call on the way someone looks, or what someone does.
You know there was that whole thing about slut shaming.

Book recommendation: Jon Ronson “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed” www.audibletrial.com/teacherluke
His voice is a bit off-putting at the beginning but he really draws you into the story.
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words of the year 2

310. The Words of the Year (Part 1)

In this series of three new episodes Amber, Paul and I talk about a list of the 10 Words of the Year which have been added to the Collins English Dictionary. We’re going to explain the words and discuss the issues behind them and I’ll also explain and clarify a lot of the language you’re going to hear in our conversation.

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Links
Article in The Guardian about the 10 Words of the Year
Collins Dictionary Q&A about the Words of the Year

Transcript to the Introduction and some notes for language analysis
Hello everyone – welcome to another episode of LEP. I hope you’re doing well… etc.

This introduction is being recorded on 18 November, on a Wednesday, but the rest of this episode and the other 2 episodes in this series were recorded a couple of weeks ago.

This episode is all about the Collins Dictionary Words of the Year 2015.

What’s that?

let me break it down.

First of all, Collins are a publisher of dictionaries, and so it’s their job to monitor the usage of words in order to decide which words should be added to the dictionary every year. They do this by noticing new words and seeing how often they have been used in the last 12 months. They then pick some of the more commonly used new words and add them to the dictionary. These are their ‘words of the year’.

How do they monitor the words? They have a special database of word usage called a Corpus. This is a quote from the Collins website:

“This evidence is based on our 4.5-billion-word database of language called the Collins Corpus. The words in the Corpus are taken from a huge range of sources of spoken and written English, including newspapers, radio and other types of media, from all over the world.” Link here.

The ‘words of the year’ list is an interesting way to identify trends in language, but it’s also quite revealing about modern British life because these are the things we’ve been talking and reading about.

Some people complain that these words aren’t serious enough, and that adding them to the dictionary is an example of the decline of language in some way. I think it’s fine to add these words into the dictionary because they just reflect changes in culture and in the end with new words needed to explain new concepts. Also, we need a record of the words people are using – especially if you’re a learner of English. You want to be able to learn the real English that people actually use, don’t you? Then you’ll want the dictionary to include the words that people really use. It’s not Collins intention to decide if people should or shouldn’t use these words, rather to see which words are being used a lot just so that they can be added to the dictionary to reflect the language as a living thing.

As ever I’m curious to know what you think about these new words. What do you think of Collins’ list? How is the dictionary managed in your country?

In this episode, Amber, Paul and I are going to go through all the words in this list, explain what they mean and discuss the issues that relate to them. This episode is also going to be a kind of review of the trending issues of the year.

As usual our discussion is pretty fast and busy, which is normal when friends discuss things.

To help you to understand everything and to give you a chance to maximise your learning from this episode I’ve decided to break up the discussion into chunks.

What’s a chunk? It’s just a substantial piece, a part, a lump. Like, a chunk of meat, tear off a chunk of bread from a loaf, a chunk of rock, you can also talk about chunks of language – like fixed expressions or phrases. In this case, we’re talking about chunks of a conversation.

What I’m going to do is play you each chunk of the discussion and then explain some of the language you heard. That way you’ll understand and learn much more.

I really think this is the best way to do it because you’re getting the best of both worlds – you can listen to our natural and spontaneous conversation, and then I’ll break it down to help you understand everything and learn even more from our conversations.

This episode contains just one conversation chunk, and it’s just the pre-chat we had before we even talked about any of the words of the year! In fact, I started recording and said hello to Amber and Paul, asked them how they were, and we started chatting about different stuff like the weather and the November 5th and we talked before dealing with the words of the year. However, this pre-chat is so full of language content that it has taken up the whole of this first episode.

It’s a bit ridiculous – you won’t actually hear us discussing the words of the year in part one! So, before we listen to the pre-chat, let me just list the words of the year for you now, even though you won’t hear us discussing them until part 2 of this series. I like to make things complicated.

OK, so the Collins Words of the Year are (in reverse order – and all these words will be explained and discussed in this series of 3 episodes – you might not understand them now but you will by the end of the series I promise)

transgender, manspreading, contactless, swipe (left or right), ghosting, clean eating, Corbynomics, shaming, dadbod and binge-watch.

I will only say those words once. You will hear them again, and hear explanations, later in this series, but for now, let’s listen to the pre-chat I had with Amber and Paul

Pre-Chat
This includes stuff about climate change, November 5th, and some other things. So, let’s finally start listening to the conversation shall we? (I do go on a bit don’t I?)
Listen to the pre-chat

Language Analysis: Pre-Chat (The bits in brackets are notes for my comments)

Conspiracy theories (Paul talks about climate change as if it’s a conspiracy theory)
It’s a hot topic.
Is it a conspiracy theory? (upward intonation for surprise, doubt)
Some people say that climate change isn’t a thing.
some people deny climate change.
(climate change deniers / to deny climate change)
We are exacerbating the environmental trend.
We’ll be dead before anything bad happens.
We might not be (elision).
Would it be bad if we were still alive in 100 years? (pron – weak sounds)
There are already too many people (pron)
China – they’re getting rid of the one baby ban (a ban on having more than one baby)
Old people who are in retreat (he means in retirement)
China should open it’s arms to Syria (an interesting political idea – but I didn’t want to talk about it because it’s a sensitive topic and I didn’t want to go down a rabbit hole – get sidetracked).
It’s unusually warm, which is kind of nice in a way because we don’t have to wear big coats and everything. (pron, but also using a relative clause to refer to a while clause).
There was a plot to blow up the houses of Parliament.
1605 (how to say years – normally divide it in two, except: when it’s 05 06 etc, 1900 1800 etc, 2000-present = “two thousand and…”)
Passives – Guy Fawkes and his gang were caught in the act of trying to blow up Parliament. He was sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered.
And we’ve never forgot. (Nursery rhyme. “Forgot” isn’t it “forgotten”. Amber is referring to the old rhyme. Forgot here is poetic licence – it should be “forgotten” but that’s ok because of the poem and it’s old)
Words of Nathalie Portman there (Paul is referring to the film V for Vendetta which takes place in the future and has a character similar to Guy Fawkes. You hear the rhyme in the film. Obviously the quote is not from Nathalie Portman. In fact it’s an old rhyme from English folklore – we don’t know who wrote it)
www.potw.org/archive/potw405.html
Amber talked about the Lewes fireworks. www.lewesbonfirecelebrations.com
They make effigies and burn them. It’s very pagan.
Didn’t life change after that? (downward intonation – it’s a rhetorical negative question – it means – “life changed a lot after that, didn’t it”. “Didn’t she do well?” “Didn’t we have a good time?”)
(Obviously, 9/11 changed more than just the bottles of water not being allowed on planes and it was a very tragic event)
(Everyone laughed – not because 9/11 was funny, but because I was stuck in a serious topic suddenly and it was difficult for me to somehow get from this serious topic to the main topic – The Collins New Words of the Year.)
“How do I transition this to the actual theme of the podcast?”
“How do I get away from this potentially sensitive subject, which obviously is very serious, you know I don’t mean to make fun of THAT” (Features of spoken English – unfinished sentence, relative clauses, connected speech – all of it, and sentence stress)
2018 is when the next physical dictionary will be brought out. Some of these words may end up in that dictionary too. (phrasal verbs)
It depends if the words stand the test of time. (expression)
Article link: www.theguardian.com/books/2015/nov/05/binge-watch-2015-word-of-the-year-collins

End of the pre-chat.

End of Part 1: We haven’t even started talking about the words of the year yet!

Part 2 will be available soon.

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Words of the Year 1

245. Merry Christmas! (+ Other News) + Video!

This is just a chance to wish you all a Merry Christmas and to give you a bit of news. There is a video for this episode, featuring 15 minutes of extra footage which I filmed before recording the audio episode. You can watch it below. [Download audio]

Small Donate ButtonVideo – I started recording this 15 minutes before starting the podcast, so you’ll see me preparing myself to start recording, and I show you what it’s like to record a podcast in the slightly cramped (and badly lit) conditions of the ‘spacepod’ or ‘sky pod’! Unfortunately, the batteries in my camera ran out after about 30 minutes! Never mind – the audio podcast is my main focus anyway. :)

Contents of this episode
1. MEEEERY CHRISTMAS (if you celebrate it)
Click these links for previous episodes about Christmas:
160. The A to Z of Christmas
78. Christmas – It’s all about Family

2. Macmillan Competition

3. Nicknames – LEPPERS, LEPSTERS, LEPPISH, PLEPs, LEP Ninjas, LEP FC, The Cult of LEP, LEP United, LEPPARDS, LEPPANS, LEPIANS, LEPANESE, LEPLANDERS, LEPaholics… what do you think? Which nickname do you prefer? Do you need just one nickname or can we use lots of different aliases? I might do a proper survey on this to let you choose your nickname by committee.

4. Emails – I don’t get many opportunities to properly reply to your emails, and I get loads of them. I’ve tried lots of things – putting them in other folders, forwarding to other inboxes etc. The problem is, I just can’t get around to it. The reason is because I can’t really reply to you all individually. I have to just talk to you as one large group. Sorry if you have sent me an email and I haven’t replied. Really – I am very sorry and it hurts a little bit because you’ve gone out of your way. I love to receive emails but I can’t always reply. I haven’t published my email address on the website and I don’t mention it in the podcast (I used to) because I’d rather the correspondence came via teacherluke.co.uk and was public. That way I’m more likely to reply. Correspondence between me and you privately is very rare. So, if you have comments, do leave them on the website. I genuinely love reading your comments and I’m frequently impressed by what a lovely community of people I have listening to this podcast. It’s quite amazing really, so keep doing that – I’m sure I have a large silent majority out there. Most people don’t correspond with me directly. That’s fine. I never send emails to my favourite podcasters (except a text I sent to the Adam & Joe show once, which they read out!) So I understand that most of you have never commented or anything. I would like to hear from you so do get in touch. You could be a long term listener but first time commenter, or whatever. Anyway, I can’t always reply to specific requests which I get sent by email, and I do get a lot. For example, I often get emails with specific requests like giving you help for the IELTS test, asking for advice on visiting France or The UK or whatever. I would honestly love to reply fully to those mails but I can’t justify sitting down to write a full email when that time must be spent on other things.

What I would like to do is publicly read out some emails. I think this is a great way to give you a voice. If you would like to send me emails that I can reply to live on the podcast, please send your emails to podcastreply@gmail.com, that’s podcastreply@gmail.com. I will assume that if you send any email there that you’re happy for me to read it out on the podcast and reply to it orally. I can’t guarantee that all your emails there will be broadcast, but let’s try it. Send emails you’d like me to read out and respond to on LEP to podcastreply@gmail.com.

I realise there’s a forum section for questions you’ve asked me, and in fact several times I’ve attempted to record episodes in response to those forum questions and for one reason or another I had to abandon recording due to technical errors, and time issues. I’m trying to find a system for giving you a voice on the podcast at the moment. Let’s try a few ways until we get the right one. Perhaps the email inbox idea will give me just a little more discretion regarding which emails I reply to.

I am a little wary of giving you the impression that you can make requests for the podcast. One of the ways I can make this podcast work with my time schedule is to have total control over what I put out. It allows me to be flexible, determine my own schedule, motivate me by allowing me to have creative freedom and also it probably gives the podcast a distinctive and original quality. I do get requests that I’m sure would please a lot of people, but they would require a heck of a lot of preparation. Sometimes I do put a lot of time into episodes, but those are the ones I just seem to be particularly driven to produce, out of some urgent sense of creativity. Essentially, the urge to do episodes has to come from me, or they won’t really get done. So, at the end of the day I decide all of the output of the podcast, but it would be nice to feature your input too. Perhaps podcastreply@gmail.com is a good way of doing that. Send your correspondence there and I will aim to stick it into episodes of the podcast, and comment on your questions that way.

5. Lost podcasts. I’ve recorded a few episodes over the years that were not published or got lost due to a hard drive accident. You will probably never hear them and will never know what they were about…

Thank you for listening and Merry Christmas everyone!

Luke