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As we increase our understanding of the virus and its effects and potential treatments, specialist scientific and medical language is increasingly prominent in everyday discourse. The OED decided to publish another update to cover these developments.
In the July 2020 OED update, we take a look at linguistic changes to Covid-19-related vocabulary, and describe the ways that OED lexicographers use corpora to track such changes.
By analyzing our multibillion-word monitor corpus of English, OED editors can observe how English speakers across the globe are changing the lexicon as a response to the same social pressures resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
OED editors are continually monitoring linguistic developments, and one way of doing this is through analysis of language corpora. Here, we summarize some recent trends, using data from our monitor corpus of English.
It is a rare experience for lexicographers to observe an exponential rise in usage of a single word in a very short period of time, and for that word to…