Five English Words That Will Be Important in 2014

The beautiful thing about language is that it’s always evolving. The English language is especially malleable and organic, lending itself wonderfully to the formation of new words, be they conjoined, homegrown, borrowed from a foreign tongue or, increasingly, taken from online tech-speak.

With the Oxford English Dictionary announcing a whole new list of words that it wants to put in its next edition, it’s fascinating to see just how many ‘new words for 2014’ have come from the online sphere. But the new OED additions aren’t the only words we’re going to be hearing more of come the new year.

We’ve taken a look at some of the words that are set to be big news in 2014, and why our conversations will be full of them!

Great

Adjective

1. of an extent, amount, or intensity considerably above average.

2. of ability, quality, or eminence considerably above average.

3. used before a noun to emphasize a particular description of someone or something.

2014 will mark the centenary of the First World War, also known as The Great War. Beginning on 28 July 1914, the First World War was a brutal conflict that lasted more than four years, ending on 11 November 1918. From the time of its occurrence until the approach of World War II in 1939, it was called simply the World War or the Great War, and thereafter the First World War or World War I. You can check the 1914.org website for full details of events and projects that are set to take place all year long to commemorate the centenary.

Cup

noun

1. a small bowl-shaped container for drinking from, typically having a handle. the contents of a cup.

2. an ornamental trophy in the form of a cup, usually made of gold or silver and having a stem and two handles, awarded as a prize in a sports contest.

3. a contest in which the winners are awarded a cup.

This word will be inescapable next summer thanks to one very special sporting competition. The FIFA World Cup takes place in Rio in 2014, the second time Brazil has hosted the competition, the first being in 1950.

The most exciting contest in the football calendar gets underway on Thursday 12 June until Sunday 13 July, giving fans a whole month of world-class football to enjoy. The qualifying stages are taking place right now, and England have already secured a place – will it be their year? If it is you’ll be hearing the word ‘cup’ a whole lot more! Check out the official site for the latest qualifiers, match dates, ticket info and more.

Independence

noun

mid 17th cent.: from independent, partly on the pattern of French indépendance .

1. the fact or state of being independent, ie, self-government, self-rule, home rule, self-legislation, self-determination, sovereignty, autonomy, non-alignment, freedom, liberty.

2014 could prove to be a hugely significant day in Scotland’s history. Next year sees the Scottish referendum on independence get underway. Already home to a devolved parliament, Scotland is now being given the chance to break away from the rest of the United Kingdom altogether.

The issue is currently being fiercely debated, not just in parliament, but in the media and in the streets too. Whether people vote for or against, the debate has certainly raised some interesting issues, forcing people to address the practicalities that would come with setting up an independent nation.

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Mutant
noun

Latin: from mutare: to change

1. a mutant form, ie, freak, oddity, monstrosity, mutation, variant, variation

It’s already a word that’s buzzing around playgrounds right now, but next year it’s set to create even more of a buzz. That’s because 2014 will see the release of the hotly anticipated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

A reboot of the 80s cult kid’s cartoon original, the new movie version controversially has the turtles appear as aliens from outer space, rather than the homegrown heroes in a half shell we know and love. It’s great news for linguistics fans too, as TMNT is a show that spawned a whole new slew of words and catchphrases, popularizing surfer slang like ‘cowabunga!’, ‘gnarly‘ and ‘bodacious!’ along the way.

Annular

Adjective; technical

1. ring-shaped.

Here’s a word you don’t hear every day – but you’ll be hearing a lot more of when 29 April 2014 rolls around. This is the date that the next annular solar eclipse is due to take place.

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun. It means that the sun is either completely or partially blocked for viewers on earth. An annular solar eclipse is when the moon passes in front of the sun, but appears smaller in diameter than the sun itself. This causes a beautiful ring or halo to appear around the sun as the moon passes by, for an unforgettable sight!

You can find out all about the annular eclipse here at the NASA website, and if you’re curious about the earth’s history of eclipse activity, you’ll find a handy guide to it here on Wikipedia too.

 

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