It’s bad enough with the world economy sliding towards a recession, but when the term “credit crunch” is included in a reputed dictionary, it becomes ever clearer that this is no passing cloud.
Apart from "credit crunch", "carbon footprint" and "electrosmog" were both included in the 2008 Chambers Dictionary, reflecting the current belt-tightening times and an increasingly environmentally conscious world.
"The new words we added to this 11th edition of The Chambers Dictionary paint a vivid picture of current interests and concerns," said its editor-in-chief Mary O'Neill.
In the dictionary, "credit crunch" is defined as "a sudden and drastic reduction in the availability of credit". Another new inclusion was "eco-village", which was described as "a small-scale, environmentally friendly settlement designed for sustainable living."
"We get a dozen letters a week from people querying the origin of words and suggesting which words should be included in the dictionary. The dictionary reflects changing times … and in every edition we get a snapshot of the preoccupations of the current time."
Some notable other entries:
ELECTROSMOG: Electromagnetic fields emitted by computers, mobile phones, etc, believed by some to be harmful to health
BLUE-ON-BLUE: Accidental firing on one's allies
IED: Improvised explosive device
BLU-RAY: A method of storing data on high-capacity compact discs using a blue laser
BOTNET: An automated program that runs on its own on infected computers and is used to cause widespread damage to computing systems
QUANTUM COMPUTER: Cutting-edge technology that uses quantum mechanics to perform operations on data
METAMATERIAL: Artificially created material having properties not found in nature
EXTRAORDINARY RENDITION: The covert transporting of individuals, especially terrorist suspects, to undisclosed destinations for the purpose of interrogation
HIPs: Home information pack, a set of documents containing details about a house
WAG: Wife or girlfriend of a professional sportsman.