WXXI AM News

Connections: New words added to the dictionary, and how language evolves

Mar 10, 2017

Merriam-Webster and the Oxford Dictionaries have added more than 1,000 new words to their databases. Some of the words, like "microagression" and "safe space" have been used for years, but have gained enough popularity to be added now. Other words and phrases, like "humblebrag" and "face-palm" are raising questions because they seem trendy and like slang.

We talk about the new words, take a quiz, and discuss the evolution of language. Our guests:

  • Chris Fanning, director of communications for Writers & Book
  • Lu Highsmith, program director of LuCreations Production, and leader of the Roc Bottom Slam Poetry team
  • Dan Mulcahy, creative director for Bush Communications
  • Maya Abtahian, assistant professor of linguistics at the University of Rochester