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“Ginormous”入选新版《韦氏词典》

作者:admin    文章来源:盐田区外国语学校    更新时间:2017-12-29
New dictionary includes 'ginormous'

The word 'ginormous' is framed by fingers after being added to a draft copy of the upcoming Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, in Springfield, Mass., Tuesday, July 3, 2007.

It was a ginormous year for the wordsmiths at Merriam-Webster. Along with embracing the adjective that combines "gigantic" and "enormous," the dictionary publishers also got into Bollywood, sudoku and speed dating.

But their interest in India's motion-picture industry, number puzzles and trendy ways to meet people was all meant for a higher cause: updating the company's collegiate dictionary, which goes on sale this fall with about 100 newly added words.

As always, the yearly list gives meaning to the latest lingo in pop culture, technology and current events.

There's "crunk," a style of Southern rap music; the abbreviated "DVR," for digital video recorder; and "IED," shorthand for the improvised explosive devices that have become common in the war in Iraq.

"There will be linguistic conservatives who will turn their nose up at a word like `ginormous,'" said John Morse, Merriam-Webster's president. "But it's become a part of our language. It's used by professional writers in mainstream publications. It clearly has staying power."

One of those naysayers is Allan Metcalf, a professor of English at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Ill., and the executive secretary of the American Dialect Society.

"A new word that stands out and is ostentatious is going to sink like a lead balloon," he said.

But Merriam-Webster traces ginormous back to 1948, when it appeared in a British dictionary of military slang. And in the past several years, its use has become, well, ginormous.

Merriam-Webster editors have spotted it in countless newspaper and magazine articles since 2000.

That's essentially the criteria for making it into the collegiate dictionary - if a word shows up often enough in mainstream writing, the editors consider defining it.

对于《韦氏词典》的词语专家们来说,今年可是个“大”年头。除了形容词gigantic与enormous的合成词ginormous(特大的;甭提有多大)外,Bollywood(宝莱坞)、sudoku(“数独”九宫格游戏)和speed dating(速配)也被收入词典。

包括这几个词在内的约100个新增词语都将被收入将于今年秋天出版的新版《韦氏词典》。

与往常一样,《韦氏词典》今年收入的词汇也是流行文化、技术和时事领域里出现的新词。

其中包括:crunk(“旷课乐”;美国南部的说唱乐风)、DVR(digital video recorder的缩写;数码录像机)、IED (Improvised Explosive Devices;"路边炸弹",一种临时爆炸装置,在伊战中很常见)。

《韦氏词典》总裁约翰·莫斯说:“语言学界的保守人士可能会看不起如ginormous这样的词。但它已经成为我们语言中的一部分了。职业作家在主流出版物上发表的文章中都会用到它。它显然是有后劲的。”

伊利诺斯州杰克逊维尔的麦克默雷学院系教授、美国方言学会的执行会长阿兰·梅特考尔夫就是其中一位反对者。

他说:“华而不实的词终究成不了‘大器’。”

《韦氏词典》则将ginormous一词追溯至1948年,当时这个词出现在英国的一个军事词典中。而在过去几年中,这个词的使用也堪称"ginormous"。

从2000年开始,《韦氏词典》的编辑们就在很多报纸和杂志的文章中发现了这个词。

这也是《韦氏词典》选录新词的标准,如果一个词在主流文章中经常出现,那么编辑们就会考虑将其收入词典。

 

Vocabulary:     

turn up one's nose at:看不起…

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