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History of English

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Words from the 1990s

Words from the 1990s

It was the decade of all things cyber-: cybercrime, cybersex, cybershoppers, cyberwar. The main fear in the cybercafé was the dreaded millennium bug, which threatened to make the world’s computer systems crash when the clocks chimed midnight on 31 December 1999.

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1980s

Words from the 1980s

The habits of post-war austerity had begun to chafe in the 1960s. The economic shocks of the 1970s did little to permit the loosening of shackles, but in the 1980s…

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Words from the 1940s OED

Words from the 1940s

It was a decade of war and peace: the first half monopolized by worldwide conflict, the second tentatively reaching out towards ways of avoiding a repetition of the first. Together…

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Words from the 1930s

Words from the 1930s

The history of cool as a general term of approval is a patchy affair. It emerged in African American English by the early 1930s, perhaps as a development of an…

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Words from the 1920s

Words from the 1920s

In the decade following the war to end war (a coinage first recorded in 1914) there was frivolity in the air, but also a residue of tension, of anxiety, that…

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