Help us find Adelaide's newest word

17 July 2013

With the English language continually evolving, words are being adapted, shortened and created from scratch and becoming part of our everyday conversations.

Word Adelaide, Adelaide’s newest festival, is on a mission to get people involved in the conversation.

Creative director Jane Intini said the team was keen to hear what new words were being invented in Adelaide and how people were using them.

“English is the most rapidly evolving language in the world and Australian English is no exception. Recently, we’ve heard words like ‘totes’ ‘cray-cray’ and ‘YOLO’ peppering everyday language,” Jane said.

“The Word Adelaide team will take to the streets today and ask people which new word they think should be included in the next edition of the Macquarie Dictionary. The most popular will be submitted for inclusion in the 2014 edition.

“Once the word has been chosen, it will be revealed in a piece of public art made from dictionaries and thesauri…that’s more than one Thesaurus, not a new species of dinosaur.

“Just as language evolves, so does technology and so we’ve seen people turn from using their hardcopy dictionaries to using online versions – with various levels of success!” Jane said.

Macquarie Dictionary editor Susan Butler said some people loved new words while others would like the language to stop changing.

“Whether we are for it or against it, change is inevitable in language as in all aspects of our lives. We can look at the words we are acquiring and see reflected in them the bright and the dark side of our evolving culture. It is fascinating to note these linguistic markers of our progress, and so I welcome these submissions to Word Adelaide as every lexicographer would for those items that are new, have currency, and ought to be in the dictionary,” Ms Butler said.

Dictionaries can be dropped off in the foyer of the State Library of South Australia on North Terrace from Wednesday July 17 to Thursday August 1.

People can also share their word on Twitter by tweeting @wordadelaide with their suggestion.

Word Adelaide will be held from August 15 – 18 at venues across the city, celebrating the art of conversation and the power of words.

Visit for all the details and to buy tickets.

Word Adelaide is proudly owned and managed by Events South Australia, a division of the South Australian Tourism Commission.

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