The latest word


Meeting: Wednesday 24 June 2009
Friends Lounge, National Library of Australia, Parkes Place, Canberra
6.30 pm, networking and nibbles from 6.00 pm

Who better to talk to us about our favourite subject, words.

Bruce is head of the Australian National Dictionary Centre at the ANU, and is author of the recently published Speaking Our Language: The Story of Australian English (OUP 2008). The Centre conducts research into many aspects of Australian English.

It edits the Oxford range of Australian dictionaries, but its primary focus is on the historical development of Australian words. Its major publication is the Australian National Dictionary.

The first edition of that dictionary was published in 1988. It is a dictionary of Australianisms based on historical principles, containing some 10,000 Australian words, meanings, and idioms. The second edition will add some 4000 new entries. This talk will focus on some of the categories of words that have been chosen for the new edition–for example, colloquial words and idioms, names of indigenous languages and peoples, and words that belong to international English but are used differently in Australia. Bruce will also cover the sometimes controversial choices that lead to the inclusion or exclusion of words.

As the title of the talk suggests, this promises to be the latest word on the latest words in our Australian English.

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