Hot on the heels of Scrabble adding 300 new words to its official dictionary (ew, ok, twerk and emoji are now perfectly acceptable, in the game at least), the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has, in its 90th year, added 1,400 new words, senses and subentries, including the unlikely trio in the title of this blog.
Thanks to its latest updation (the action or act of updating something), we can watch mumblecore while drinking a bargoon wine from Entre-Deux-Mers. Or, we can refer to our sloppy seconds, while labelling ourselves fem lib at CrossFit. We can even use film directors as adjectives: Kubrickian, Scorsesean and Tarantinoesque.
All these additions are undeniably reflective of modern culture while serving as a reminder of how rich and varied our language is. Popularity breeds influence and what may once have been considered jargon associated with and coined by a specific industry or group, is now very much in mainstream consciousness.
As communicators, adjusting our language for the intended target audience is vital in delivering a message that resonates and in doing so, we must embrace evolving language. But, we can’t escape the fact that well thought-out argument will always be more important than trying to sound de rigueur. Developing and staying true to a tone of voice is what really makes a brand stand out. It builds recognition, influence and, most importantly, trust.
And although we may not find the OED’s new words creeping into the business world straight away, we can rest assured that it’s keeping up with the times and we’ll undoubtedly continue reaching for its wisdom for another 90 years. Let’s all raise a glass of Butterbeer to that.
Sophie Griffiths is an account director at Camargue