New words – 19 November 2018

Andrew Olney / DigitalVision / Getty

free-range parenting noun [U]
UK /ˌfriː.reɪndʒ.ˈpeə.rᵊn.tɪŋ/ US /ˌfriː.reɪndʒ.ˈper.ᵊn.tɪŋ/
a way of raising children that involves allowing them to do many things without being supervised in order to encourage them to become independent and responsible

Free-range parenting isn’t about being permissive or uninvolved. Instead, it’s about allowing kids to have the freedom to experience natural consequences of their behavior — when it’s safe to do so. It’s also about ensuring kids have the skills they need to become responsible adults.
[www.verywellfamily.com, 24 March 2018]

maternymoon noun [C]
UK /məˈtɜː.ni.muːn/ US /məˈtɝː.ni.muːn/
a holiday taken by a family while the mother is on maternity leave from work

For us, we were quite happy with a driving holiday overseas for our first maternymoon, however, we’ve decided on a relaxing, tropical holiday closer to home for our second one. Yep, you heard right – a second one!
[www.nowtolove.com.au, 16 August 2016]

rental family noun [C]
UK /ˈren.tᵊl.fæm.ᵊl.i/ US /ˈren.t̬ᵊl.fæm.ᵊl.i/
actors who are paid to pretend to be someone’s family members in order to provide companionship or to accompany the person to social events such as parties and weddings

Yūichi Ishii, the founder of Family Romance, told me that he and his “cast” actively strategize in order to engineer outcomes like Nishida’s, in which the rental family makes itself redundant in the client’s life. His goal, he said, is “to bring about a society where no one needs our service.”
[New Yorker, 30 April 2018]

About new words

People’s Word of 2018: Cast your vote!

The team at Cambridge Dictionary have shortlisted four words that were added to the dictionary this year, and we would like YOU to tell us which of these words best sums up 2018.

There are over 100,000 words and meanings in the Cambridge Dictionary, but we are constantly adding to these, with almost 2,000 new words and updated definitions every year.

The four words we have shortlisted for the People’s Word of 2018 are: Continue reading “People’s Word of 2018: Cast your vote!”

New words – 12 November 2018

Caiaimage / Robert Daly / Getty

brain belt noun [C]
/ˈbreɪn.belt/
an area of a country that attracts many intelligent people to work in modern industries and areas of new technology

The chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission has called for billions of pounds of infrastructure investment in the Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge ‘brain belt’, which he said could add hundreds of billions to the national economy.
[Transport Network, 17 November 2017]

headtrepreneur noun [C]
UK /ˌhed.trə.prəˈnɜːʳ/ US /ˌhed.trə.prəˈnɝː/
a headteacher who looks for and develops opportunities to raise money to provide funds for their school

Enterprising headteachers are generating hundreds of thousands of pounds for their schools to counter budget cuts. One “headtrepreneur” estimated that he brought in extra money, resources and business donations worth about £300,000 a year. Others are renting out facilities and buildings, selling staff’s professional expertise to other schools or companies or drumming up donations and money from local businesses.
[The Times, 22 June 2018]

T level noun [C]
/ˈti:ˌlev.ᵊl/
a public exam in a technical or vocational subject, taken in England by people aged 17 or 18

The first schools and colleges that will teach new technical qualifications called T levels was announced this week, as Theresa May said that … “T levels provide a high-quality, technical alternative to A levels, ensuring thousands of people across the country have the skills we need to compete globally – a vital part of our modern industrial strategy.”
[The Times, 22 June 2018]

About new words

New words – 5 November 2018

Giovanni Lo Turco / EyeEm / Getty

mono meal noun [C]
UK /ˈmɒn.əʊ.mɪəl/ US /ˈmɑː.noʊ.mɪəl/
a meal made up of only one food item (usually a type of fruit or vegetable), thought by some people to have health benefits

To count as a true mono meal, it also means that one isn’t drinking anything during the meal. For instance, if you decide to have a bowl of mangoes alone that would be a mono meal: most people have had a mono meal when consuming things like fruits or bread without any spread on top.
[www.tapmagonline.com, 7 January 2017]

Continue reading “New words – 5 November 2018”

New words – 29 October 2018

Henrik Sorenson / DigitalVision / Getty

speed mating noun [U]
UK /ˈspiːd.ˌmeɪ.tɪŋ/ US /ˈspiːd.ˌmeɪ.t̬ɪŋ/
a way of meeting new friends that involves attending an event at which you talk to a lot of people for a short time to see if you like them

But going to an event such as speed mating is not without stigma. Olivia is a pseudonym because she knows that if she used her real name her students “would take the mick out of me”. After the event, she is exhausted: “I didn’t expect it to be so full-on … It’s also just reassuring to know I’m not the only person to feel like this. It’s not sad and it’s not pathetic, being 29 and not having friends in a new city.”
[The Guardian, 5 May 2018]

Continue reading “New words – 29 October 2018”

New words – 22 October 2018

Caiaimage / Chris Ryan / OJO+ / Getty

cheating mafia noun [U]
UK /ˈtʃiːt.ɪŋ.ˈmæf.i.ə/ US /ˈtʃiːt.ɪŋ.ˈmɑː.fi.ə/
a system in which students can pay to receive help to pass their exams in order to increase their chances of securing a place at a good university

Students need top marks — sometimes over 99 percent — to get into the country’s highly oversubscribed universities and so examiners are bribed, answer sheets leaked and exam rooms infiltrated. No more, said Neena Srivastava, secretary of the Uttar Pradesh board of education, who described the cheating mafia as part of organized crime. “We are fighting against this evil. We have to cleanse the state of this menace.”
[Washington Post, 9 February 2018]

Continue reading “New words – 22 October 2018”

Obituary: Professor Ron Carter

It is with great sadness that we say farewell to Professor Ron Carter, who died after a long illness on 12th September 2018. Ron was Emeritus Professor of Modern English Language at the University of Nottingham and, since the late 1980s, his name has been closely linked with Cambridge University Press through his books, research projects and service as a Press Syndic.

Ron’s first book for CUP, The Web of Words, co-authored with Michael Long, was published in 1987. Ron’s passion for literature and his firm belief that knowledge of how language works was the key to unlocking the meanings of literary works stand as an enduring thread in his published works. While never abandoning his interest in stylistics and literary studies, over the next two decades, Ron turned his attention to the creation and exploitation of corpora, and in the 1990s we founded and co-directed the CANCODE and CANBEC spoken English corpus projects, funded jointly by the Press and the University of Nottingham. The impact of the CANCODE project was global, not only in terms of the wealth of linguistic insight gained from it, as reflected in Ron’s many academic articles, and those of his Nottingham colleagues and students, but also in the paradigm-shift it created through its emphasis on the grounding of English language teaching materials in empirical evidence. The culmination of Ron’s corpus research came in 2006 with the publication of the Cambridge Grammar of English, which I was privileged to co-author with him. The book attracted national and international media interest, an experience Ron was no stranger to, following his influential role on the government-funded LINC (Language in the National Curriculum) programme in the 1990s, with media interviews and debates and controversies, which Ron handled with his usual gentle, calm and highly professional manner.

Other books for CUP and academic papers followed from the corpus projects over the last 20 years, and I was greatly privileged to have been his co-author on many of them. They included Exploring Spoken English, Exploring Grammar in Context (co-authored with Rebecca Hughes), English Grammar Today (co-authored with Anne O’Keeffe and Geraldine Mark) and From Corpus to Classroom, which we co-authored with Anne O’Keeffe. The fact that many of Ron’s most significant works for CUP and other major publishers were co-authored is a tribute to the wonderful relationships he forged with his fellow academics in Nottingham and other universities. We who worked with him loved the humour, the razor-sharp insight, the gentleness, fairness and decency and the devotion to rigorous scholarship which were the hallmark of his approach to research and writing.

During the last years of his university career, Ron served as a Press Syndic, a role to which he brought all the qualities of a man determined to uphold academic standards and a man of great vision, one prepared to see what was around the next corner and not to be afraid to confront new challenges in scholarship and language pedagogy.

Ron will never be forgotten by his friends and colleagues, by the editors and others with whom he enjoyed such good relations at the Press, and, most of all, by the many hundreds of students who passed through his hands at the University of Nottingham and who received the gift of inspired teaching and nurturing from the humblest and the most decent of men.

Michael McCarthy

New words – 15 October 2018

Barbara Fischer, Australia / Moment / Getty

plastic footprint noun [C]
/ˈplæs.tɪk.ˈfʊt.prɪnt/
a measurement of the amount of plastic that someone uses and then discards, considered in terms of the resulting damage caused to the environment

As such, Greenpeace suggests a number of small changes people can make to reduce their plastic footprint. The first steps involve avoiding buying items such as plastic bottles of water and carrying a permanent or reusable one instead. It also advises using a refillable cup when buying takeaway coffee to help cut down on the estimated 2.5 billion disposable cups discarded every year in the UK.
[The Telegraph, 10 January 2018]

Continue reading “New words – 15 October 2018”

New words – 8 October 2018

Artisteer / iStock / Getty Images Plus

phast noun [C]
/fæst/
a ‘phone fast’: a period of time during which someone chooses not to use their smartphone

For the past month, I’ve been trying to phase my phone out – the same way you’d phase out an annoying acquaintance. I’ve started avoiding it for a whole 90 minutes before bed, which has been tough, I won’t lie, but definitely doable. It’s what Price calls a phast, or phone fast. She explains how regular, short breaks from our phones “are essential for our emotional and intellectual health”.
[www.image.ie, 15 February 2018]

attention economy noun [U]
UK /əˈten.ʃᵊn.iˈkɒn.ə.mi/ US /əˈten.ʃᵊn.iˈkɑː.nə.mi/
an economic system where the amount of information available on the internet means that companies must compete to attract the attention of potential consumers

As 63% of marketers world-wide set out to increase traffic and leads over the next 12 months, their first instinct will be to produce more content. Fight this instinct. Remember, we are living in an attention economy. The way to get attention today isn’t to shout more or shout louder; instead, think carefully about how you can use these 8 strategies to help people better navigate the information deluge.
[www.thinkgrowth.org, 20 June 2017]

surveillance capitalism noun [U]
UK /səˈveɪ.ləns.ˈkæp.ɪ.tᵊl.ɪ.zᵊm/ US /sɚˈveɪ.ləns.ˈkæp.ə.t̬ᵊl.ɪ.zᵊm/
an economic system where a company, usually a website, makes money by selling its users’ personal data to other companies

Google and Facebook, in particular, are avatars and practitioners of the new “surveillance capitalism”, the system whereby it is not our need for goods and services that creates the greatest corporate wealth, but the data we generate that can then be sold on.
[The Sunday Telegraph, 4 February 2018]

About new words

New words – 1 October 2018

Image Source / Getty

MAMIL noun [C]
/ˈmæm.ɪl/
abbreviation for middle-aged man in lycra: a man who takes up cycling in middle age, especially one who rides an expensive bike and spends a lot of money on clothing, accessories and so on

Richard’s transformation into a MAMIL began five years ago when, to get fit, he bought a road bike. At first, he wore a sensible pair of shorts and a loose-fitting jersey. But then the buying began in earnest. New wheels (the old ones were slowing him down, apparently), a pair of cycling shoes, then another pair, then a ‘quicker’ helmet, then a personal trainer to help him shed the pounds and improve his ‘power to weight ratio’.
[Daily Mail, 11 December 2014]

Continue reading “New words – 1 October 2018”