Kirby Behn.
Kirby Behn. The Northern Star

Kids cast a spell over dictionary

THE Collins English Dictionary has cast a wide net to find the newest word in the English language.

'Meh', as popularised by Bart and Lisa Simpson, will be published in the 30th anniversary edition next year.

Kirby Behn, of Ballina's Book Warehouse, said she had no idea what word she would add to the dictionary.

“I hear a lot of different words from my little brother,” she said.

“He's just finished Year 12.”

Ms Behn said the store sold a lot of dictionaries, mainly to school students.

After 12 years teaching English, Angela Szczotko, of Trinity Catholic College Lismore, thinks dictionaries should be responsible for updating the contemporary vernacular.

“I agree that language should be fluid,” she said.

“Dictionaries need to reflect the change in language.”

Ms Szczotko said she had seen words come and go.

“The kids don't always use these words in the classroom,” she said.

“They learn that context informs everything we do.”

Ms Szczotko said the context depended on the person speaking, as well as the word itself.

“I don't think it would be cool for me to say something is 'fully sick',” she said.

Ms Szczotko has noticed students often create words that abbreviate an existing word.

New words:

Meh: An expression of indifference

Boredom: When used as an adjective, meaning mediocre or boring.



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