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Strictly speaking | Solastalgia

The suffix –algia comes from the Greek word meaning ‘pain’, and is normally used in medical terms that  categorise physical distress, as in myalgia (‘muscle pain’) and odontalgia (‘toothache’). By contrast, the less specialised word nostalgia refers to mental anguish, ...

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Strictly speaking | Connectography

This word owes its origin to one person’s creative thinking, in the title of Parag Khanna’s Connectography: Mapping the future of global civilization.  It was published less than a year ago (April 2016) along with a TED Talk, and with ...

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Strictly speaking | Phubbing

Creating new words is an unpredictable business. How was Lewis Carroll to know that amongst the brillig, gimble and uffish of “Jabberwocky”, chortle would gain popular acceptance? Did we really need a new term for laughing? Advertising agency McCann thought ...

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Strictly Speaking | LUXED and LUSH

An international hotel advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald invites readers to get luxed on a stopover in Singapore. Those old enough to remember the ubiquitous bar of Lux soap might wonder if this is just an upgrade on the ...

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Strictly Speaking | Atas

English has always extended itself with words from other languages. Recent additions to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) have a certain East Asian flavour to them. Literally, in some cases, with the inclusion of plenty of culinary words such as ...

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Strictly speaking | Ruburb

The concept of suburbia may seem a contemporary one. In fact, the word suburb, literally meaning ‘below the city’, goes back to the 14th century, and is mentioned in one of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales as a hiding place for robbers ...

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Strictly speaking | BOOMLET

In the wake of the Brexit referendum and economic pessimism in Britain, an optimistic commentator in the EU-based Politico was forecasting a boomlet for financial consultants and lobbyists in London and Brussels. A boomlet? Is that a ‘real’ word or ...

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Strictly speaking | Yummy

New terms are constantly being created to label demographic groups, often by marketers wanting to target them. These terms are commonly formed using acronyms – as in the examples dinky (dual income no kids yet), kippers (kids in parents pockets ...

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