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The lexical outbreak

Oxford English Dictionary was occasioned by an explosion of new linguistic usages driven by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic

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Coronavirus | Oxford English Dictionary | Lockdown

Suhit K Sen 

Suhit K Sen

Last month, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), that most venerable lexical authority, undertook an unscheduled and extraordinary update, between its routine quarterly ones. It was occasioned by an explosion of new linguistic usages driven by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some of the words the OED has now included in its new edition are entirely new coinages. The most obvious amongst them is the word Covid-19 itself, which, as we all know by now, is a contraction of the phrase “coronavirus disease 2019”. The greater popularity of this usage over the more technical ...

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First Published: Sat, May 02 2020. 00:53 IST
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