The words of 2012

by Paul Heacock

As the year winds to a close, it is once again time for the staff and contributors to Cambridge Dictionaries Online and its blog, About Words, to sort through the year gone by and highlight the words and phrases that rose to prominence. In one way or another, all of these strike us as emblematic of 2012.

The new year brought some typical words to the fore, with resolution and prosperous making meteoric jumps in the number of searches for each. But many of our visitors must have had a romantic start to the year, because cuddle also became a very popular word to look up.

The second month of 2012 brought a more sober frame of mind, with words like bailout, hostile, grim and fail all getting huge upticks in searches on CDO.

In April, the phrasal verb give up made a sudden appearance at the top of our most-searched-for list. It was the only top 50 appearance for the term all year, and seems odd coming in springtime. Perhaps the searches were in reference to the financial turmoil, or to the tradition of giving up something for Lent, or to news reports in the US that month showing what people were willing to give up in order to have access to the Internet. Continue reading “The words of 2012”

London 2012: the games

by Liz Walter

And they’re off! From athletics to equestrianism, sailing to cycling, boxing to swimming, the drama unfolds as records are smashed, medals are awarded, and over 10,000 of the world’s greatest athletes push themselves to feats unimaginable to ordinary mortals.

Perhaps the most eagerly awaited event of all was the men’s 100m race – who would be the fastest man in the world? The crowded stadium fell silent to watch the thrilling race. Relatively slow out of the blocks, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt powered through the field and demolished his rivals to set a new Olympic record and confirm his place as the greatest sprinter in history. Continue reading “London 2012: the games”

The Opening Ceremony to London, 2012

Londonby Kate Woodford

On Friday 27th July, 2012, an estimated 4 billion people worldwide will watch the opening ceremony to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The opening ceremony is the official start to the Olympic Games. It is also an opportunity for the host nation to show off or ‘showcase’ its many talents and qualities. Some parts of the ceremony are present in all Olympic opening ceremonies. (They are obligatory according to the International Olympic Committee charter.) Other aspects of the ceremony are unique to the host nation, and are intended to represent what is special about that country. Continue reading “The Opening Ceremony to London, 2012”