One could argue that slang words like ‘hangry,’ ‘defriend’ and ‘adorkable’ fill crucial meaning gaps in the English language, even if they don’t appear in the dictionary. After all, who actually decides which words make it into those vaulted pages? Language historian Anne Curzan gives a charming look at the humans behind dictionaries, and the choices they make on a constant basis.

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35 Comments

Armyprincess1974

May 10, 2020

As I listen to this video and she is talking about words that have come into fashion and are discussed at a conference she attends yearly…I immediately think of the word "texted." I hate this word! You either send a text or receive a text…nothing is texted. I know it is commonly used both on television and the internet, but it drives me crazy. Just wanted to share my thoughts.

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Madison C

May 10, 2020

oh 2014 slang your were so innocent

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andreas sardarian

May 10, 2020

bad!!!

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Serena Lizinnqui

May 10, 2020

A foreign friend once asked my sister, "Is 'fantabulous' a real word?" I guess the answer is "Yes, if you use it enough."

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Sabri altuntaş

May 10, 2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZCxyOcvp5A&fbclid=IwAR3yH3-_lQyDt1h2ABLZmMUf5cgVw-ujRfxGe-kdvBYPP1RlMeoQk2nb9YY

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ポールポール

May 10, 2020

15:13

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Earth Has Curve

May 10, 2020

Cheers to all the grammar nazis. Nice presentation.

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Mara Nunes

May 10, 2020

The language vis live and changing.

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Joe Felker

May 10, 2020

I have posted on social media in the past my questioning of what makes a word a word and how it becomes socially acceptable. ty for this as it provides more of an answer than anything I have come across

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Anonimo Anti-Social

May 10, 2020

This woman knows all the english words.

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DaMa Tango-an

May 10, 2020

I still can't accept the word "lol" though.. 😔😔 I don't know why..

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Ravi Tiwari

May 10, 2020

in 1000 years the whole world will speak a single language

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Vegan Cookies

May 10, 2020

I was waiting for her to finish the story from the beginning.

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Matthew

May 10, 2020

3:54 she says "many fewer" when it should be "much fewer", maybe wanna revisit English.

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Leila

May 10, 2020

I don't get why people are laughing so damn much, what she's saying ain't even funny?

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Cindy Marriel Saile

May 10, 2020

#Principlesofcommunication
All I can say about her verbal and non-verbal communication skills is that she used a loud and clear voice for transmitting the message effectively since she is not only talking with few number of persons but a large crowd. She also used strategies like making jokes but still relevant to the topic because bringing some entertainment has a great impact to make your audience interested and listen to you more.

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Dexter Alejado

May 10, 2020

I believe on what she said that every word has a meaning, like the dictionary every word has its meaning. For once I haven’t seen a word that has no meaning because if it has no meaning it doesn’t make sense at all.

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Cristine Jean A. Hervas

May 10, 2020

All I can say to this video entitled "What makes a Word Real? " by Anne Curzon is very Informative. All that she said was true. I read dictionaries but I don't even read who was behind in those dictionaries. Sometimes, I think who really made this words and put meaning to this words? When we can possibly say that the word is real? Now, after I watched this video I learned that even though the words that can't be found in dictionaries are real as long as we used it and we keep using it.

#PrinciplesOfCommunication

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ma.emeliza antiga

May 10, 2020

I was grateful to watch this video. I have questions in my mind about the topic what makes the word "real"? Why there are words that I know but it doesn't appear in the dictionaries? But thanks to this video, it answered my questions that word is real if we are using it and we know the meaning of it. I also learned that the words gets in the dictionary because we used it and we keep using it and the dictionary editors are just paying attention to us.

#Principlesofcommmunication

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Luke Ysmael Fedillaga

May 10, 2020

#PrinciplesofCommunication
Entirely, the verbal and non-verbal expression are evidently utilized along the duration of the speech which signifies that the speaker is effective and notable. Talking about gestures, she did portaryed a very calm and serene aura making the audience be directly gravitated to her and to what she says. She also delivered her speech in respect to the audience and she stepped it up a notch by providing jokes that are relevent to the topic. Overall, the totality of the dicussion was astoundingly perfect. It is an epitome of how communication cycles, from messenger to the reciever and by recieving feedback in the end. It was great.

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Amy Ebarsabal

May 10, 2020

I was really amazed by her. All the words that she said became interesting to my ears. I have learned a lot about english languages and dictionaries. I have also found out that the world are coping up about what is happening out there most especially about words that people created and gave it a meaning on their own. It's pretty cool that dictionary editors also pays attention to everybody who makes their own words. Thank you so much for all of these stuffs. I really learned a lot.

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Amy Ebarsabal

May 10, 2020

I was really amazed by her. All the words that she said became interesting to my ears. I have learned a lot about english languages and dictionaries. I have also found out that the world are coping up about what is happening out there most especially about words that people created and gave it a meaning on their own. It's pretty cool that dictionary editors also pays attention to everybody who makes their own words. Thank you so much for all of these stuffs. I really learned a lot.

Reply

Amy Ebarsabal

May 10, 2020

I was really amazed by her. All the words that she said became interesting to my ears. I have learned a lot about english languages and dictionaries. I have also found out that the world are coping up about what is happening out there most especially about words that people created and gave it a meaning on their own. It's pretty cool that dictionary editors also pays attention to everybody who makes their own words. Thank you so much for all of these stuffs. I really learned a lot.

Reply

Amy Ebarsabal

May 10, 2020

I was really amazed by her. All the words that she said became interesting to my ears. I have learned a lot about english languages and dictionaries. I have also found out that the world are coping up about what is happening out there most especially about words that people created and gave it a meaning on their own. It's pretty cool that dictionary editors also pays attention to everybody who makes their own words. Thank you so much for all of these stuffs. I really learned a lot.

Reply

Michael Shelly

May 10, 2020

fictionary

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silkroadsuli

May 10, 2020

She's so adorkable (:

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Joanne Watts

May 10, 2020

Excellent talk – very impactful 😂 I will now go and make up some new words, and hope that they eventually make it into the dictionary!

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Armando7654

May 10, 2020

retarded audience applauding style of her voice rather than content credibility.

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Anthony Nichols

May 10, 2020

Even though i was forced to watch this. Still a great TED talk though

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zakaria douichi

May 10, 2020

moobs = man + boobs 😀

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TheVitros

May 10, 2020

I like her speech. Is she a transgender though?

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Shenora Shillshams

May 10, 2020

Yes it is

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quakerwildcat

May 10, 2020

I love the lectures that professor Curzan has recorded with The Great Courses Plus. She is the best.

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Roedy Green

May 10, 2020

If I were evaluating a pile of resumes and I came across "invite" used as a noun, I would think "Beverly Hillbillies" and immediately toss that resume into the reject pile. Dictionaries need to warn you of the risk of using such words.

My peeves are not about language, but about pronunciation. I am disturbed the way dialects all rush away from each other so that people from different parts of the world cannot use English to communicate. There is so much muddying and slurring and dropped sounds. English will get harder and harder to understand. At some point we will have to define standard pronunciation so everyone can intercommunicate, and use the local dialect for talking to neighbours. Young females drive me crazy by emphasising and elongating random syllables and turning every sentence into a question with a rising tone.

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Michael Cullen

May 10, 2020

My pet hate: "based off of". As in The Shining was based off of a book by Stephen King. What's wrong with "based on"?

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