New words – 24 September 2018

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binge racing noun [U]
/ˈbɪndʒ.reɪ.sɪŋ/
the activity of watching a full series of a streamed TV programme in a 24-hour period

Netflix found that binge racing has increased 20 times over the past three years. What used to be a pastime reserved for the most committed television fans is now sweeping the nation – and the world … In 2013, some 200,000 people had done this, and now it’s up to 4 million and counting.
[www.mashable.com, 17 October 2017]

knitflixing noun [U]
/ˈnɪt.flɪksɪŋ/
the activity of knitting and watching a TV programme on Netflix at the same time

Once the activity of choice for our grandmas, knitting has seen a popularity boom across all ages in recent years … Now, there’s even a blog dedicated to knitflixing – aka watching Netflix while knitting – while more than 3,600 photos have been tagged #KnitFlix on Instagram.
[www.huffingtonpost.com, 19 February 2018]

hate watching noun [U]
UK /ˈheɪt.wɒtʃɪŋ/ US /ˈheɪt.wɑːtʃɪŋ/
the activity of watching a TV programme that you hate in order to gain enjoyment from criticizing it or complaining about it

Despite the embarrassment of rich, beautiful storytelling on TV, many of us indulge in exactly this sort of time-wasting habit: hate watching has reached new heights. Fed by almost endless options for shows to watch, bolstered by the snark contest that social media has become, viewers now regularly revel in finding plot holes and analysing awfulness just as much as they delight in quality programming.
[www.bbc.com/culture, 26 June 2017]

About new words

Ghosts, coughs and daughters: how to pronounce ‘gh’ in English.

belchonock / iStock / Getty Images Plus

by Liz Walter

There are many common words in English that contain the pair of letters ‘gh’. ‘Gh’ can be pronounced /g/ (like ‘goat’), /f/ (like ‘fun’) or it can be silent, but in that case it will affect the vowels that come before it. Unfortunately, many of these pronunciations simply have to be learned. However, there are a few basic rules that can help.

Continue reading “Ghosts, coughs and daughters: how to pronounce ‘gh’ in English.”

New words – 17 September 2018

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super listener noun [C]
UK /ˈsuː.pə.ˌlɪs.ənəʳ/ US /ˈsuː.pɚ.ˌlɪs.ənɚ/
someone who listens to a large number of podcasts and helps to make them well known or popular by recommending them or promoting them, especially on social media

As the report explains, super listeners are the most active slice of the podcast pie, and while they don’t fully represent every kind of podcast fan, they end up being the most supportive and participatory when it comes to podcasts. These listeners place a great deal of trust in podcasts as news and entertainment sources.
[Adweek, 16 November 2017]

vaguebooking noun [U]
/ˈveɪg.ˌbʊk.ɪŋ/
the activity of wording posts on social media sites in a deliberately vague but worrying way in order to prompt the people who read them to express concern about the poster

Why do social media users feel the need to post such inane drivel? I appreciate that we’re all different but surely, if something affects you emotionally to such a degree that you feel the need to partake in vaguebooking, you need to get off social media, pick up the phone and talk to a real friend. Better still, do it in person, over a coffee … with real – not virtual – hugs/rants/tears/joy.
[www.taobusinesssolutions.co.uk, 11 October 2017]

kidfluencer noun [C]
UK /ˈkɪd.flu.ən.səʳ/ US /ˈkɪd.flu.ən.səʳ/
a child who encourages people to buy a product by recommending it on social media

The toy industry used to be fronted by an elderly enthusiast manning the desk of an overcluttered shop. Now, thanks to the internet, the children are taking over. Despite the web’s role in gradually ousting the high street toy store, it also might be its saviour — in the form of “kidfluencers”.
[The Times, 7 October 2017]

About new words

Flaring up and bouncing back: phrasal verbs relating to illness

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by Kate Woodford

A recent blog that we published on phrasal verbs meaning ‘argue’ was very popular, reminding us to keep providing you with useful sets of these important items! This week, then, we’re looking at phrasal verbs and prepositional verbs connected with illness and recovery.

Continue reading “Flaring up and bouncing back: phrasal verbs relating to illness”

New words – 10 September 2018

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cat cuddler noun [C]
UK /ˈkæt.kʌd.ləʳ/ US /ˈkæt.kʌd.lɚ/
someone whose job is to take care of cats at an animal rescue centre or veterinary clinic by grooming them and playing with them

Do you love cats? Would you like to spend all day petting cats – and being paid for it? If the answer to both questions is yes, you might be interested in the fact that a Dublin-based veterinary practice is looking to hire a ‘cat cuddler’. As in, they literally want to pay someone to play with kitties all day.
[www.metro.co.uk, 24 May 2017]

scare actor noun [C]
UK /ˈskeər.æk.təʳ/ US /ˈsker.æk.tɚ/
someone whose job is to scare people at tourist attractions, for example by dressing up as a monster and jumping out at them

A professional scare actor, Miss Yeung, 28, has been spending her weekend nights haunting people as Malice – one of the seven “Sinisters” – at this year’s Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) at Universal Studios Singapore … “I hide in dark recesses and corners to jump and scare the guests, mostly screaming at them and giving the illusion that I am trying to kill them,” Miss Yeung said.
[www.tnp.sg, 16 October 2017]

tasker noun [C]
UK /ˈtæsk.əʳ/ US /ˈtæsk.ɚ/
someone who finds work by using an online marketplace where people list tasks they need done and people who want the job bid for it by stating the fee or hourly rate they are happy to work for

He says no one is forced to work at a particular time, do a job they don’t want to do, or work for a fee they’re not happy with. “It’s a fallacy that it’s a race to the bottom,” he says. “Less than 39% of tasks are actually assigned to the tasker who quotes the lowest price.”
[The Guardian, 10 March 2018]

About new words

Egging on, storming out and making up: phrasal verbs connected with arguing (2).

michaeljung / iStock / Getty Images Plus

by Liz Walter

My last post looked at phrasal and prepositional verbs connected with starting arguments and what happens during arguments. Today I’ll start with describing other people’s involvement in an argument and then go on to talking about what happens when an argument is over.

Continue reading “Egging on, storming out and making up: phrasal verbs connected with arguing (2).”

New words – 3 September 2018

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jackpotting noun [U]
UK /ˈdʒæk.pɒt.ɪŋ/ US /ˈdʒæk.pɑːt.ɪŋ/
the crime of hacking into a cash machine in order to obtain money

Jackpotting has been rising worldwide in recent years, though it is unclear how much cash has been stolen because victims and police often do not disclose details. Hackers require physical access to the cash machine using specialised electronics and malware to take control, including an endoscope.
[The Guardian, 29 January 2018]

transaction laundering noun [U]
UK /trænˈzæk.ʃᵊn. ˌlɔːn.də.rɪŋ/ US /trænˈzæk.ʃᵊn.ˌlɑːn.dɚ.ɪŋ/
the crime of using a company’s payment system to process a payment for illegal products and services

Scammers were recently caught using fake Airbnb listings to launder money. Because there are so many listings on the site and no way to manually monitor all transactions, criminals can pay each other or cash out stolen credit cards in seconds. This electronic money laundering, also called transaction laundering, is a growing problem for regulators and law enforcement. According to our estimates, as much as $200 billion is laundered via ecommerce payments every year.
[www.linkedin.com/company/evercompliant, 28 February 2018]

cryptojacking noun [U]
UK /ˈkrɪp.təʊ.ˌdʒæk.ɪŋ/ US /ˈkrɪp.toʊ.ˌdʒæk.ɪŋ/
the illegal activity of secretly using someone’s computer to obtain new cryptocurrency (digital currency produced by a public network rather than by a government)

Cryptojacking doesn’t require a download, starts instantly, and works efficiently. Making it even more insidious, hackers can sneak a mining component onto unsuspecting websites and pilfer cryptocurrency off of the legitimate site’s traffic.
[www.wired.com, 29 December 2017]

About new words

Millennials and snowflakes (Words and phrases for ages and stages)

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by Kate Woodford

This week we’re all about ages and stages as we look at words and phrases that refer either to people of a particular age or to people at a particular stage in their life. Some of these words and phrases have additional meanings and connotations.

Continue reading “Millennials and snowflakes (Words and phrases for ages and stages)”

New words – 27 August 2018

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shero noun [C]
UK /ˈʃɪə.rəʊ/ US /ˈʃɪr.oʊ/
a female hero, especially one who supports women’s issues

The COO of Facebook and a true shero, Sandberg is a mother, activist, author, speaker and leader … Through her book she conveys that women can be great mentors for each other … She believes that until women demand equality and power in all spheres, of which work is a very important part, the plight of women leaders will not change.
[www.theodysseyonline.com, 11 July 2016]

ladydata noun [U, C]
UK /ˈleɪ.di.ˌdeɪ.tə/ US /ˈleɪ.di.ˌdeɪ.t̬ə/
the results of an investigation into how any of the government’s proposed changes to the budget would affect women

And that’s one reason the Labour MP Stella Creasy has just launched a campaign for what she’s calling “ladydata” (and, yes, the name’s meant to be ironic). She wants the government to commit to running all its budget decisions through an independent assessment of their gender impact, which would publicly reveal any differences in the way they affect men and women.
[The Pool, 12 December 2017]

womenomics noun [U]
UK /ˌwɪm.ɪ.ˈnɒm.ɪks/ US /ˌwɪm.ɪ.ˈnɑː.mɪks/
the activities undertaken by a government to enable more women to enter the workforce, especially into high-level jobs

For those who have already decided that Japan’s “womenomics” movement is an empty promise, the Kanagawa Women’s Empowerment Support Group has plenty of ammunition. Its pink-toned website introduces a panel of movers and shakers aiming to promote female empowerment in Kanagawa prefecture in the coming year: 11 high-profile corporate leaders — and all 11 of them men.
[Financial Times, 8 March 2017]

About new words

Picking holes and taking a dig (The language of criticizing)

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by Kate Woodford

Even the most positive among us now and then say that we think something is bad. Very often we do it for the right reasons, hoping for improvement or even suggesting ways in which something can be improved. Sometimes, we do it because we are angry, upset or jealous. This week we’re looking at the words and idioms in this area, as ever, focusing on current, useful language.

Continue reading “Picking holes and taking a dig (The language of criticizing)”