Monday, January 23, 2012

New words in English - over-accessorized

Every month, the Oxford English Dictionary adds new words to its online listings (the language is growing too fast to make print practical). In December, the official register grew by 736 new words. Some highlights include the calque noun earworm, the lovely adjective Aesopically, and the slangy noun va-jay-jay.

My favorite new word from the list is over-accessorized, adjective meaning "having too many accessories, flashy, clashing, or ostentatiously dressed."

A dictionary should be descriptive not prescriptive. I like the OED's unstodgy approach to language (I wonder if unstodgy is in the running for new words). A dictionary is a gauge of the times. And if these pictures are any indication, the postmodern homage and pastiche of contemporary couture which will have few things to offer posterity except jeggings.

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