New dictionary will reflect wider usage

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The Independent Online

A string of new definitions - from e-commerce to shedload - are poised to bring the English dictionary into the age of the Internet and Ali G, it was announced today.

A string of new definitions - from e-commerce to shedload - are poised to bring the English dictionary into the age of the Internet and Ali G, it was announced today.

The web-friendly terms sit alongside other buzz words and phrases such as profiling, focus group and zero tolerance in a new edition of Penguin's dictionary, due out next month.

In contrast to the recently published Oxford Compact English Dictionary, which sparked criticism for leaving out certain words, the Penguin dictionary lists Blairism as well as Thatcherism.

Ladette culture is mentioned, as is the full monty, defined as "the whole thing", and Frankenstein food - the term that refers to goods containing genetically modified substances. Also included are Nineties stalwarts such as white van man, mission statement, ring fence and air rage.

Editor Nigel Wilcockson said the aim of the new dictionary was to reflect the diversity of the English language as it is spoken and written by people from all backgrounds. "We've tried to reflect how people use English and how they play with it," he said. "It's Ali G's English as well as the Queen's."

The new edition will also contain quotations from individuals as diverse as Baroness Thatcher, feminist author Germaine Greer, American stars Woody Allen and Marilyn Monroe and former French soccer star Eric Cantona.

Signs of recent political pressures are also present in terms such as bed blocking, used to denote the occupation of hospital beds by patients who do not need them, and ladder gang, which describes roofing contractors who prey on vulnerable customers.

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