N – New words are not awesome

“The stickler-advocated rules of spelling, grammar and punctuation slow the speed of change and allow the language to remain united,” writes David Mitchell in the Guardian, dismissing the annual list of new words that have entered the Oxford English Dictionary (3 Jan, www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jan/03/david-mitchell-english-language-grammar). “Staycation,” “tweetup,” “bossnapping,” and “unfriend” are some of the new entries. But Mitchell argues for conservatism: “If you start describing everything as ‘rambunctious’ or ‘celestial,’ you end up with sentences like meals in expensive ethnic restaurants—all flavoursome sharing plates and no bloody chips. Slagging people off for saying ‘nice’ and ‘good’ is what leads to their resorting to ‘awesome.’” See www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/6905776/Tweetups-and-unfriend-among-Oxford-English-Dictionarys-words-of-the-year.html