New words – 29 July 2019

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veggie disc noun [C]
/ˈvedʒ.i.ˌdɪsk/
a type of food similar to a hamburger but not containing meat, made by pressing together small pieces of vegetables, seeds, etc. into a flat, round shape

Veggie burgers are for the chop, a Brussels committee has decreed, to be replaced by the less palatable-sounding “veggie discs” … after a vote in the European Parliament … approved a ban on producers of vegetarian food using nomenclature usually deployed to describe meat.
[www.theguardian.com, 4 April 2019]

motherless meat noun [C or U]
UK /ˌmʌð.ᵊ.ləs.ˈmiːt/ US /ˌmʌð.ɚ.ləs.ˈmiːt/
meat that has been grown in a laboratory from cells and has not come from a live animal

It’s almost certain that if and when the first generation of motherless meats arrive in grocery stores, they will not be steaks, chops, or filets. They will be meatballs, sausages, and extruded nuggets — processed foods that combine laboratory-raised cells with plant proteins, grains, and other ingredients.
[www.newfoodeceonomy.org, 30 July 2018]

bivalvegan noun [C]
/ˌbaɪ.væl.ˈviː.gən/
a vegan who eats certain types of mollusc that do not have a central nervous system and are therefore not considered to have thoughts, feel pain, etc.

Eight years on, and I now live as a bivalvegan … Choosing this diet isn’t a cop out. If I believed for two seconds that eating certain kinds of bivalve was morally wrong and harmful to the planet, I would stop consuming them tomorrow.
[www.earthedupmedia.com, 12 January 2018]

About new words

Evolving and disrupting: verbs meaning ‘change’

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by Kate Woodford

In a post last month, we looked at adjectives and phrases that describe change. This post will look at some of the many verbs that mean ‘change’.

A lot of ‘change’ verbs mean ‘to change slightly’, but some have additional meanings. For example, if you adapt something, you change it slightly for a different use:

Most of the vegetarian options can be adapted for vegans. Continue reading “Evolving and disrupting: verbs meaning ‘change’”

New words – 22 July 2019

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mumoir noun [C]
UK /ˈmʌm.wɑːʳ/ US /ˈmʌm.wɑːr/
a book or other piece of writing based on the writer’s personal knowledge of being a mother

Why this sudden rush of “mumoirs” now? What need are they fulfilling in our society in the late 2010s? Perhaps one purpose is an antidote to the pastel-hued fantasies of motherhood on Instagram, the impossible pressure to “have it all” and present an image of unflustered perfection.
[www.independent.co.uk, 19 April 2019]

chat fiction noun [U]
/ˌtʃæt.ˈfɪk.ʃən/
a type of story that is divided into short sections and delivered to the reader by text message

To be sure, people who read chat fiction are generally not reading Game of Thrones–length tales. The average story length on Hooked is around 1,300 words — intentionally short, to be quickly consumed on the go. But they also offer many serialized stories — essentially “chapters” — so you can get a meatier read.
[www.ozy.com, 22 March 2019]

book stuffing noun [U]
/ˈbʊk.stʌf.ɪŋ/
(of a self-published author) the fraudulent practice of adding extra, usually irrelevant content to a book in order to take advantage of a system that pays the author per word read

Book stuffing is when authors take all their works and stuff them into the back of every other book to artificially inflate their page count. Some authors even stuff in newsletters: the goal is to inflate the page count as much as possible, and thus the payout on KU page reads. Said books are usually offered at 99 cents or free, as the author is looking to get all their money out of KU.
[www.madgeniusclub, 8 April 2019]

About new words

My very best friend: talking about friendship

Sam Edwards / Caiaimage / Getty Images

by Liz Walter

July 30th is the United Nations’ International Day of Friendship, so this post is all about words and phrases for talking about friends and friendship.

A friend can be anyone you like and spend time with, so we use adjectives to say how much we like or love someone. A good friend or a close friend is someone you spend a lot of time with and care very much about, and your best friend is the person you love most of all:

I’d like you to meet my good friend Mateo.

He doesn’t have many close friends.

Sarah is my very best friend.

Continue reading “My very best friend: talking about friendship”

New words – 15 July 2019

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agritecture noun [U]
UK /ˈæg.riˌtek.tʃəʳ/ US /ˈæg.rə.tek.tʃɚ/
the art and practice of designing and making buildings that are inspired by farm buildings, or this architectural style

Architects are not only converting period barns; they are being asked to design contemporary homes that echo grain silos and storage units clad in undulating tin. The rise of agritecture can be attributed to a rebellion against showy homes. While much of the architecture world wants to go bigger, shinier and more tricksy, some practices are heading in the other direction, where restraint and modesty lead to a home blending in with its location.
[The Times, 6 April 2018]

landscraper noun [C]
UK /ˈlændˌskreɪ.pəʳ/ US /ˈlændˌskreɪ.pɚ/
a very large building that takes up a lot of space on the land

KONE Corporation, a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry, has won an order to equip Google’s new UK headquarters building, KGX1. The 11-story-tall and 312-meter-long “landscraper” will run parallel to the platforms of London’s King’s Cross railway station in England and will sit at the heart of a campus for 7,000 Google employees.
[news.cision.com, 6 March 2019]

superblock noun [C]
UK /ˈsuː.pə.blɒk/ US /ˈsuː.pɚ.blɑːk/
a space in a city made up of several blocks, where only local traffic is permitted and the needs of the people who live there are given priority

On Barcelona’s superblocks, local access for motor vehicles is still permitted, but through traffic is not. The streets are designed to make drivers feel like they are visitors, with narrow rights-of-way for cars. Almost all car traffic is local residents or people with personal business on the block. Without dangerous car traffic overrunning the streets, generating noise and pollution, superblocks are full of life.
[vimeo.com, 3 August 2018]

About new words

Black sheep and cans of worms: animal idioms, part 4

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By Kate Woodford

This post – the last in our popular ‘animal idioms’ series – looks at idioms featuring animals that range in size from an elephant to a worm. Most of today’s idioms have a rather negative meaning.

Let’s start with the elephant idiom. If people know that a problem exists but they find it too embarrassing or difficult to talk about, the problem may be described as the elephant in the room:

We all know that Tom will have to retire at some point, but no one mentions it – it’s the elephant in the room. Continue reading “Black sheep and cans of worms: animal idioms, part 4”

New words – 8 July 2019

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mean world syndrome noun [U]
UK /ˌmiːn.ˈwɜːld.sɪn.drəʊm/ US /ˌmiːn.ˈwɝːld.sɪn.droʊm/
a belief that the world is a more dangerous place than it actually is

Sarah Krongard and Mina Tsay-Vogel … published a paper examining whether people who view the most popular binge-watched shows see the world as meaner than it really is—a phenomenon known as “mean world syndrome.” This idea stems from a long-standing theory called cultivation, which proposes that watching television leads people to believe the real world is closely aligned to what they see on their screen.
[www.bu.edu, 6 March 2019]

super-feeler noun [C]
UK /ˈsuː.pə.ˌfiːləʳ/ US /ˈsuː.pɚ.ˌfiːlɚ/
someone who experiences their own emotions and those of other people very intensely

So what makes someone a super-feeler? According to Dr Z, super-feelers may be wired differently, with studies suggesting that they have an overactive amygdala, the “fire alarm” part of the brain that alerts us if a situation is perceived as threatening. But modern life can exacerbate things, particularly as it feels like we’ve never been busier, more tired or more stressed.
[www.telegraph.co.uk, 28 July 2018]

interoception noun [U]
UK /ˌɪn.tər.əˈsep.ʃᵊn/ US /ˌɪn.t̬ɚˌr.əˈsep.ʃᵊn/
an awareness of the inside of the body

When we think of our senses, he explains, we imagine sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. Actually, these are just our exteroceptive senses, the ones that tell us about the outside world. Each of us also has interoception, the perception of sensations inside the body, like the pounding of my heart or the growling of your stomach.
[www.telegraph.co.uk, 15 April 2019]

About new words

Tangy, tart and fruity: talking about flavours

Trevor Adeline / Caiaimage / Getty Images

by Liz Walter

Food is one of life’s great pleasures, and it is useful to know how to describe its flavours. By the way, note that ‘flavour’ is the UK spelling; the US spelling is ‘flavor’.

The simplest way to express whether or not we are enjoying the flavour of something is to say it tastes:

This soup tastes lovely/horrible.

The sauce tasted slightly sweet. Continue reading “Tangy, tart and fruity: talking about flavours”

New words – 1 July 2019

Caiaimage / Paul Bradbury / Getty

flat white economy noun [U]
UK /ˌflæt.waɪt.iˈkɒn.ə.mi/ US /ˌflæt.waɪt.iˈkɑːn.ə.mi/
the wealth created through the large number of people using a coffee shop or café to work in, rather than working in an office

[This is] their adopted office where, thanks to a combination of flexible working and not being able to afford the heating bills in their own home, they are fuelling the “flat white economy”. This sector (so-called after the less-frothy coffee beloved of hipsters) is now the largest driver of Britain’s economic output, overtaking even the current manufacturing boom.
[www.telegraph.co.uk, 1 April 2019]

blue economy noun [U]
UK /ˌbluː.iˈkɒn.ə.mi/ US /bluː.iˈkɑː.nə.mi/
the wealth created through the use of the world’s oceans, such as through jobs in the oil and fishing industries

Britain’s maritime heritage is quietly being reimagined as the “blue economy”, a sphere in which centuries-old sectors touch the forefront of technology to help create a more sustainable economic future.
[Sunday Telegraph, 15 April 2018]

anxiety economy noun [U]
UK /æŋˈzaɪ.ə.ti.iˈkɒn.ə.mi/ US /æŋˈzaɪ.ə.t̬i.iˈkɑː.nə.mi/
the wealth created through the production and sale of products designed to ease anxiety

The anxiety economy shows no signs of shrinking, with white noise machines, salt lamps and meditation headbands advertised alongside yoga selfies on Instagram. Aids for anxiety disorders in 2019 are branded like covetable scented candles – scrolling through the products, one starts to think of it as a small but universal ill like dry lips or shaving rash, and one just as easily treated.
[www.theguardian.com, 10 March 2019]

About new words

From one day to the next: the language of change

Miguel Navarro / DigitalVision / Getty Images

by Kate Woodford

Change is something that we all have to deal with throughout our lives. Whether at work, at home or in our relationships, change is something that none of us can escape. It makes sense that we have a tremendous lot of vocabulary for describing change. In this, the first of two blogs, we look at words and expressions that describe things becoming different. Continue reading “From one day to the next: the language of change”