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October 21, 2012

Where New Words Come From - Romnesia

Love them or hate them, political seasons change much more than...

...the faces that represent us.

Our language seems to shift with every newsworthy event (and some not so newsworthy). Political seasons seem to go on and on, and though they might seem tedious if not repetitive, each new person, issue and confrontation seems to bring us yet another candidate (sorry about the pun) for our ever-expanding vocabulary.

The most recent word (coined in mid-October, 2012) is "romnesia". Romnesia is, of course, related to the statements of Presidential candidate Mitt Romney who seems to shift his political position based on his audience, intent or mood.

Thanks to the internet, this word has already entered the urban dictionary - http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Romnesia&defid=6795632.

To see a video of the speech where President Obama first used the word, look here (be sure to notice the audience response) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BBEXB1Wf9c.

Politicians (and their supporters) may love or hate how words emerge and some (unlike refudiate, see my previous post here - http://www.esl-lesson-plan.com/mt.cgi?__mode=view&_type=entry&id=518&blog_id=1) actually catch on, but this is just one aspect of how our language continually shifts and expands.

I confess to being an unrepentant word nerd, and I love the many possibilities and contradictions in a language as flexible and fluid as English - especially the always-unpredictable American version.

Send us any words or phrases that make you crazy and be sure to let us know what it is about English and language learning that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.

Morf

Posted by mmorf at October 21, 2012 10:12 PM

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