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Strictly speaking | Retronym

Retronyms are newly coined words that remake or replace a pre-existing term in order to make room for innovations. For example, what has always been called “mail” (i.e. what comes in stamped envelopes to a street or postbox address), is ...

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Strictly speaking | Pyrocene

Geological time involves glacial – or even slower – change, so the rapid shifts in the terminology used to label our current era feel anomalous. The term anthropocene was first coined in 2000 to designate the period of primarily human ...

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Strictly speaking | Telegamy

On first encounter, telegamy one might think it refers to TV gaming. But put alongside its nearest relatives in English (monogamy, bigamy, polygamy) its meaning begins to emerge – as a particular kind ofmarriage, albeit not one made in a ...

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Strictly speaking | Algiarism

No reader of Campus Review, or indeed anyone working in higher education, can have missed the anxiety about the fresh potential for plagiarism created by the recently-released software ChatGPT. Of course there’s now a new word for this type of ...

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Strictly speaking | Munted

Most English words have a history which can be traced back through centuries and even millennia. So those which the dictionary notes as “origin unknown” are a challenge –especially colloquial words like munted, which seems to pop up in New Zealand out ...

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Strictly speaking | Calving

The impact of global warming has introduced new terms to our vocabulary, like anthropocene, biomass and carbon footprint. A word now gaining currency that has been around for a while, at least for whalers and glaciologists, is calving – the ...

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Strictly speaking | Holistorexia

While we might recognise the verbal elements that make up the recently coined word holistorexia its meaning is not immediately obvious. It’s a combination of holist(ic), as in holistic medicine, and (an)orexia which literally means “lack of desire or appetite”. ...

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Strictly Speaking | RUOK

Amid concerns about other people’s mental health, this four-letter initialism/acronym for “Are you OK?” came alive in 2021. It was coined some years before by an Australian non-profit suicide prevention organisation (in 2009) which holds an annual R U OK? ...

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Strictly speaking | Glitch

The social media app TikTok is responsible for countless trends that involve people doing, or saying, or showing things in short videos recorded on their phones. One of the more recent trends to have taken off is the dance move ...

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