Passa ai contenuti principali

Want to be amazing at neologisms seeking? Here’s how

The world of technology is shaping the English language, with innovative advances reflected in new terms. Of course the explosion of social media has accelerated the creation of new words as different cultures and languages interact.

Seeking neologisms is becoming harder and the risk of getting lost in information overload (or infoxication) is high! Wordphiles just need to develop strategies not to get lost.

Here some useful tips:

Twitter: Following someone on Twitter, it is possible to see a word at the moment of its coinage. Because tweets tend to be rather informal, there are a lot of types of creative usages of words. 57% of neologisms on Twitter come from blends.

Twitter is a newswire other than a social platform. Follow the social spotlights on Twitter and new words will pop-up! (See #Frankenstorm Sandy coverage, for example). To improve your search you can use the real-time social media search and visual discovery tools such as SeeSaw).

Don't know who to start following? Here my favourites Neologisms Twitstars:


Google alert: In looking through the terms gathered for my blog since 2009, I noticed that journalists, twitterers, and bloggers are foreseeable. They have a tendency to flag words that are new to their vocabulary with such phrases as “known as” or “as they call it” or “known to fans as” or even “new word” and of course, “neologism”.  The trick is, don't put only “neologism” on Google alert but also “known as”, “coined the word” etc. (Read more about how to detect neologisms here: Institutionalization of a neologism).

Serendipitous reading: I have to admit that very often I jump into a new word just by accident. I’m just reading a news and voila’, a new word is smiling at me! Love comes when you don't expect it.

  • Starter tool box - here a list of the most reliable and popular blogs and websites on neologisms:
  • Many newspapers and magazines include lists of new words to accompany articles, and quite a few , including Wired, Time, Newsweek,  and the Guardian, even include new word sections as a regular feature.

    By the way, consider that:

    1) Most words are new to most people most of the time. There are plenty of people who are culturally left behind, for some of them the word “blog” is a novelty (coined in 1999). 

    2) Websites are ephemeral. A special skill for neologisms seekers is to capture new words immediately, before websites archive their online content.



    Post popolari in questo blog

    Little platoons

    There's no reference to Hegel in the Tory manifesto, but there is an allusion to one of the founding fathers of conservative thought, Edmund Burke. The "institutional building blocks of the Big Society", the document reads, "[are] the 'little platoons' of civil society". “Little platoons" is a phrase that occurs in Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), the classic expression of conservative scepticism about large-scale attempts to transform society in the image of abstract ideals. The Tories today use it to refer to the local associations that would go to form a "broad culture of responsibility, mutuality and obligation". The problem is that, for Burke, little platoons weren't groups that you volunteer to join; they were the "social subdivisions" into which you are born - the kind of traditionalism you would have thought Cameron's rebranded "progressive" Conservatives would want to avoid. T

    Microsoft Language Portal

    Microsoft Language Portal:  a bi-lingual search portal for finding translations of key Microsoft terms and general IT terminology. It is aimed at international users and partners that need to know our terminology for globalization, localization, authoring and general discovery.  It contains approx. 25,000 defined terms, including English definitions, translated in up to 100 languages as well as the software translations for products like Windows, Office, SQL Server and many more.

    Football or soccer, which came first?

    With the World Cup underway in Brazil, a lot of people are questioning if we should refer to the "global round-ball game" as "soccer" or "football"? This is visible from the queries of the readers that access my blog. The most visited post ever is indeed “ Differenza tra football e soccer ” and since we are in the World Cup craze I think this topic is worth a post. According to a paper published in May by the University of Michigan and written by the sport economist Stefan Szymanski, "soccer" is a not a semantically bizarre American invention but a British import. Soccer comes from "association football" and the term was used in the UK to distinguish it from rugby football. In countries with other forms of football (USA, Australia) soccer became more generic, basically a synonym for 'football' in the international sense, to distinguish it from their domestic game. If the word "soccer" originated in Eng