Tag: oxford

‘Star Wars’ Terminology Added to Oxford English Dictionary

In recent years, the Oxford English Dictionary has been the center of of linguistic controversy, due to their unconventional additions to the compendium. For example, in 2015 the OED announced that the recipient of their coveted ‘Word of The Year’ title was the ‘Face With Tears of Joy’ emoji.

 

Image via CNN

 

Oxford stated that the emoji was chosen, because it was the ‘word’ that “best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015,” though it wasn’t met without opposition.

 

 

Today’s controversy, however, is being received much more positively. OED released a list of all the new words being added to the dictionary in the month of October, several of which were terms plucked straight from the Star Wars universe.

 

Image via International Business Times

 

Some of the words added only have definitions relating to their Star Wars context, like the word ‘lightsabre.’ The formal definition now attributed to lightsabre is “in the fictional universe of the Star Wars films: a weapon resembling a sword, but having a destructive beam of light in place of a blade.”

The term Padawan is now defined as “an apprentice Jedi,” and Jedi is defined as “a member of an order of heroic, skilled warrior monks who are able to harness the mystical power of the Force.”

 

 

The word ‘force’ itself has also been updated. While the known definitions remain, the term now has another definition, one that reads “a mystical universal energy field.”

Alongside this Star Wars lingo, several sexual terms have been added as well, so use caution if you plan to browse OED’s list of new terms while at work. But, do feel free to call the interns in your office Padawans in all your emails. No one can stop you now!

 

 

 

Featured image via Reddit

Our Favorite Tolkien & Lewis Apocrypha

Tolkien and Lewis were both in residence at Oxford for many years, studying and teaching both. They were also close friends, even though they disagreed on almost everything. Sure, they had a shared interest in language, and in what we now call fantasy, but they disagreed on religion, and on the tones of their books. There are also a lot of stories about their friendship, few confirmed, but all amazing. Here are our favorites!

 

1. The Lamppost

 

Image via Dissolve

 

There’s a story that says Lewis specifically put the lamppost in Narnia because Tolkien said a good fantasy story would never have one. The sheer pettiness. What an icon. No fantasy story would have a lamppost? Well this one does! Please, TELL Lewis what his story can have. There’s no slowing him down. A lesson in spite we should really all take to heart.

 

 

2. Religion

 

Image via IOL

 

Tolkien was, as well as being a linguist and historian, quite Catholic, and Lewis found his philosophical suggestions appealing, becoming religious himself. Tolkien didn’t get what he wanted, though, because though Lewis became more religious, he was Protestant, and Tolkien didn’t at all appreciate how much religion was in Lewis’ books. Kinda played himself.

 

3. The Draft

 

Image via The Creative Penn

 

Apparently when Lewis first read his draft of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe to Tolkien and a croup of friends, Tolkien hated it. He thought it was terrible and combined too many mythologies. He wanted more consistent world building, and I don’t have a good source for this, but I’ve heard he even told Lewis to stop writing.

 

 

 

Featured image via J A Carlisle 

When I See the Oxford Comma

Look, I get it. This is the modern world. This is the internet. Punctuation and spelling are fluid and evocative. The linguistics of the internet are fast moving and instinctive, and I love that. But let’s talk about Oxford comma.

I know we’re not passionate about actually using punctuation here. Every time I see someone use a period at the end of a text, I feel the kind of primordial fear I thought was reserved for life or death situations. And don’t get me started on the most ominous punctuation choices of all…..

 

Sure, it’s the serif font of punctuation. It seems old fashioned at best, effected superfluous. Darn, I forgot the oxford comma, but I’m sure it still made sense.

 

Image via KnowYourMeme

 

Context is a beautiful thing, of course, but those would be galaxy brain names for some rhinoceri. You can assume, but you can’t be sure. Maybe the rhino tamer is just a huge history nerd. Here are my emus, Jefferson and Adams.

Sure, people who overuse commas are pedants (eh-hem), but sometimes they’re necessary. If the point is to be understood, why make people guess? Not everyone is going to know your rhinoceros naming philosophies.

 

Image via edudemic

 

Grammar doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are all these people, including rhinoceroses. If you’re describing something, no Oxford comma. Or, these are my rhinoceri. Here are their names. Let’s try and take ourselves seriously.

Not to be unrelateable, but just like grammar.

 

sayingimages

 

Even if you don’t feel the same, though, the Oxford comma isn’t to be dropped. I don’t know the last time I used a period, but these days, we write for clarity. We capitalize words for Emphasis. Drop what doesn’t work, but keep what does. Internet language is streamlined, and I think that’s beautiful. Let’s keep it that way. But don’t eat grandma in the process.

Featured image via ImgFlip