New words – 23 July 2018

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a-commerce noun [U]
UK /eɪ.ˈkɒm.ɜːs/ US /eɪ.ˈkɑː.mɝːs/
the business of buying and selling goods using technologies such as augmented reality so that purchasers can see items in their real-life context before they buy them

Let’s then welcome … A-Commerce, which will soon replace the E-Commerce term. Through AR, retailers can now offer a more interactive and personal experience that will shift the way we shop forever. Of course, brick-and-mortar stores won’t disappear just yet. But for sure we are coming closer to see that happen one day.
[medium.com, 26 December 2017]

techlash noun [C]
/ˈtek.læʃ/
a backlash (a strong feeling among a group of people in reaction to a change or recent events) against technology

Daniel Franklin, executive editor at The Economist and editor of “The World in 2018”, told CNBC in an interview that he believed one particular theme to watch out for in 2018 would likely be an impending “techlash.” Over the coming months, lawmakers across the world will likely turn on tech behemoths such as Facebook, Google and Amazon, Franklin said.
[www.cnbc.com, 1 January 2018]

Industry 4.0 noun [U]
UK /ˈɪn.də.stri.fɔː.pɔɪnt.ˈzɪə.rəʊ/ US /ˈɪn.də.stri.fɔːr.pɔɪnt.ˈzɪr.oʊ/
the processes involved in producing goods for sale in which technologies such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things play an important part

All revolutions are disruptive, and Industry 4.0 is no exception. It poses risks, but offers tremendous opportunity: for new products and services, better ways to serve customers, new types of jobs, and wholly new business models.
[www2.deloitte.com, 22 January 2018]

About new words

Love, work and police: pronouncing the letter ‘o’.

bulentozber / iStock / Getty Images Plus

by Liz Walter

Pronunciation is one of the hardest things to master in English. Today I’m going to look at the letter ‘o’ and concentrate on some common pronunciation errors.

Most students have no problem with the short vowel sound /ɒ/ found in British English in words such as hot, boss and across. (Americans pronounce this as a longer sound /ɑː/.) Students also generally understand how adding an ‘e’ to the end of a word leads to a longer sound /əʊ/ (UK) /oʊ/ (US), for instance hop/hope, not/note.

Continue reading “Love, work and police: pronouncing the letter ‘o’.”

New words – 16 July 2018

Monika Halinowska / Moment / Getty

forest bath noun [C]
UK /ˈfɒr.ɪst.ˌbɑːθ/ US /ˈfɔːr.ɪst.ˌbæθ/
an activity similar to meditation that involves sitting in a forest and focusing on your surroundings

I asked myself: who are the world’s most intense commuters and what do they do about it? The answer is, of course, the Japanese, and their solution is to take a forest bath. Shin-rin yoku was developed by the Forest Agency Of Japan in the 1980s as a “simple practice for enhancing health”.
[Sunday Times, 1 October 2017]

sound healing noun [U]
/ˈsaʊnd.ˌhiː.lɪŋ/
a type of meditation that involves listening to the human voice and different objects that produce sound

In an increasingly stressful world, sound healing is on the verge of joining yoga and meditation in mainstream consciousness. It’s not just about achieving a deeper state of sleep, either … In effect, it’s much like meditation, except instead of regulated breathing, the path to betterment is guided by sound.
[www.wweek.com, 2 January 2018]

gong bath noun [C]
UK /ˈgɒŋ.bɑːθ/ US /ˈgɑːŋ.bæθ/
a type of meditation session in which the therapist plays one or more types of gong (a round piece of metal that is hung in a frame and hit with a stick to produce a sound)

I first zoned out to a gong bath a decade ago in a North London yoga studio. I’d turned up for the yoga but ended up blissed out to the sound vibrations and keen for another hit. Back then one or two people a year were learning to play the gong and carry out sacred healing ceremonies … now it’s more like 70 or 80.
[The Guardian, 15 January 2018]

About new words

Getting the hang of it (Words and phrases for getting used to things)

Koldunova_Anna / iStock / Getty Images Plus

by Kate Woodford

Getting used to things is a part of life. We all deal with situations, tasks or tools that are new to us. At first, they may seem difficult or strange. With time or practice, they become familiar and normal.  In this blog, we look at the language for expressing this idea.

Starting with single words, if you familiarize yourself with something that you don’t know about, you intentionally learn about it, usually to prepare for something: I need to familiarize myself with the new software. If you acclimatize, you become familiar with different weather or surroundings so that you are able to deal with them: More time will be needed for the troops to acclimatize to the desert conditions.

Continue reading “Getting the hang of it (Words and phrases for getting used to things)”

New words – 9 July 2018

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nanokicking noun [U]
UK /ˈnæn.əʊ.ˌkɪk.ɪŋ/ US /ˈnæn.oʊ.ˌkɪk.ɪŋ/
a process that transforms a body’s stem cells into bone

Nanokicking subjects cells to ultra-precise, nanoscale vibrations while they are suspended inside collagen gels. The process of nanokicking turns the cells in the gels into a ‘bone putty’ that has potential to be used to heal bone fractures and fill bone where there is a gap.
[University of Glasgow News, 12 September 2017]

e-skin noun [C, U]
/’i:.skɪn/
a thin material, or a garment made from this material, that contains sensors and can monitor motion and bodily functions such as heart rate and breathing

CES demos showed the e-skin used for simple gaming, but with further development Xenoma believe it could also be used for fitness coaching and healthcare as well. Sadly, you’re unlikely to be suiting up any time soon. The only way to get hold of an e-skin right now is to purchase a full developer’s kit, which will set you back a cool $5,000.
[blog.vodafone.co.uk, 12 January 2018]

living tattoo noun [C]
/ˌlɪv.ɪŋ.tætˈuː/
a type of tattoo made from special ink that reacts to changes in the environment

The researchers say these living tattoos could be used as a wearable device to sense pollutants in the air or track changes in the temperature. Developed by MIT engineers, the tattoo was “printed” layer-by-layer on a patch before being adhered to the skin.
[www.irishnews.com, 6 December 2017]

About new words

Breaking the mould: words and phrases for things that are new or modern.

Westend61 / Getty Images

by Liz Walter

Last month I wrote about ways of talking about people or animals that are young. This post looks at a related set: words for things that are new or modern.

Firstly, if we want to emphasize that something is very new, we say it is brand new: She bought herself a brand new sports car. This phrase means that something has just been made, but the thing itself does not necessarily have to be modern.

Continue reading “Breaking the mould: words and phrases for things that are new or modern.”

New words – 2 July 2018

Westend61 / Getty

haem noun [U]
/hi:m/
an organic molecule found in plants that can be used in vegetarian and vegan cooking to mimic the red colour of meat

Silicon Valley start-up Impossible Foods has launched a plant-based burger using the sci-fi-sounding gene-edited ingredient. Haem makes the patty ‘bleed’ and imparts iron-filled meatiness. It’s considered the best meat-free burger, bar none.
[Good Food Magazine, January 2018]

sunion noun [C]
/ˈsʌn.jən/
a type of onion that does not make your eyes water when you slice or chop it

With typical onions, these compounds, which form sulphuric acid when they come into contact with the water in your eyes, remain stable or increase during storage. But with sunions the levels actually decrease over time, resulting in an onion variety that becomes sweeter, milder, and tearless.
[www.independent.co.uk, 10 January 2018]

crossushi noun [U, C]
UK /krəʊ.ˈsuː.ʃi/ US /kroʊ.ˈsuː.ʃi/
a croissant with sushi inside it

Full disclosure, in case you couldn’t already tell, I am one of those croissant purists. I prefer to stick to a non-stuffed pastry — unless chocolate is involved — that showers flakes, not salmon, onto my lap. But, the “crossushi” was not created for me. It was created for adventurous eaters who care more for creativity and possibilities of what can be.
[www.bustle.com, 2 January 2018]

About new words

Twisting arms and sticking your neck out (Idioms featuring parts of the body)

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by Kate Woodford

Parts of the body feature in a great number of English idioms. This week we’re taking a look at some of the most commonly used. How many of these have direct equivalents in your language?

 

Starting with the top of the body, the neck is quite productive! If two people or groups who are competing are neck and neck, they are level with each other and have the same chance of winning: Recent polls suggest the two parties are neck and neck. The strange phrase neck of the woods refers to a particular area. (We usually put the words ‘your’/‘his’/‘her’ etc. or ‘this’ before it): I didn’t expect to see you in this neck of the woods! / Portland – isn’t that your neck of the woods, Gina? If you stick your neck out, you take a risk, often by saying what you think will happen in the future: I’m going to stick my neck out and predict a win for Chelsea.

Continue reading “Twisting arms and sticking your neck out (Idioms featuring parts of the body)”

New words – 25 June 2018

Highway-Starz Photography / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Amazon effect noun [U]
UK /ˈæm.ə.zᵊn.ɪˈfekt/ US /ˈæm.ə.zɑːn.əˈfekt/
the increase in e-commerce and the resulting closure of many physical shops, named after the online retailer Amazon, the success of which has had a significant influence on shopping habits

Retail. Cloud computing. Logistics. Film and television production. Grocery shopping. The list of industries and business processes disrupted by Amazon Inc. is long, and could get longer. Traditional banking may be the next area to face the “Amazon effect,” argues a new report from management consulting firm McKinsey.
[www.marketwatch.com, 25 October 2017]

Silicon Slopes noun [plural]
UK /ˌsɪl.ɪ.kən.ˈsləʊps/ US /ˌsɪl.ə.kən.ˈsloʊps/
an area in Utah where there are a large number of information technology and computer companies

In a recent conversation in his office, 20 minutes north of Salt Lake City, Skonnard, 44, described how he hoped to close the skills gap among tech workers worldwide and increase Pluralsight’s revenue from between $100 million and $200 million today to $500 million by 2020. As for the area that tech entrepreneurs have taken to calling Silicon Slopes, Skonnard says, “We have a vision for what Utah can be.”
[www.forbes.com, 3 April 2018]

Zoogler noun [C]
UK /’zuː.gləʳ/ US /’zuː.glɚ/
an employee of Google who works in the company’s Zurich office

The Zooglers have table tennis and pinball, but also a band rehearsal room, a cinema, a gym and a Lego room. There are circular curtained-off meeting rooms, as in a dystopian hospital. There are cable cars to sit in for no reason. There’s a room with a piano in it. And free good food.
[The Guardian, 15 January 2018]

About new words

Knee-high to a grasshopper: words and phrases that mean ‘young’.

FatCamera / E+ / Getty Images

by Liz Walter

Over the last couple of months I’ve written about words and phrases for being old or old-fashioned, so now it’s time to look at the opposite. I’ll start with expressions connected with being young.

We often describe very young children as small or little: There were lots of little children at the show. A small child sat alone in the corner. However, to talk about someone’s younger brother or sister, you always need to use little, not ‘small’: That’s Brad’s little sister.

Continue reading “Knee-high to a grasshopper: words and phrases that mean ‘young’.”