‘Yoga’ among top 15 most popular words in the British society: Study

The researchers have kept in mind how the internet age has had a massive influence on the words we use in daily communications or elsewhere

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Yoga. Wikimedia

London, April 13, 2017: Along with words like ‘Facebook’ and ‘Twitter’, ‘Yoga’ has occupied a spot among the top fifteen most popular words in the British society; say scientists who are looking into the massive influence the internet age has had on the English language.

According to the researchers, the necessity to communicate with a wider-world coupled with a move away from the close-knit, cosy communities of the 90s has changed the way British people speak over the last two decades dramatically.

The study, conducted by Lancaster University and Cambridge University Press in the UK, prioritized the most characteristic words of informal chit-chat and gossips in today’s Britain.

The researchers have kept in mind how the internet age has had a massive influence on the words we use in daily communications or elsewhere.

In the 1990s we were captivated by ‘cassettes’. Today the bill is topped by ’email’, ‘Internet’, ‘Facebook’, ‘Google’, ‘YouTube’, ‘website’, ‘Twitter’, ‘texted’, ‘iphone’, ‘ipad’ etc.

‘Twenty-four’ perfectly sums up the open-all-hours community which we now live in – very far away from a world where words like ‘cobbler’ and ‘playschool’ were high in our vocabulary.

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According to PTI reports, once-popular words like ‘permed’, ‘comb’ and ‘tar rah’ lost their stardom as shown by the study. But ‘awesome’, which replaced ‘marvellous’ in an earlier study, is still popular and has now joined ‘massively’ in the top 15.

The study also shows that the word ‘croquet’ has taken a hit along with expressions such as ‘mucking’, ‘whatsername’, ‘golly’ and ‘matey’. ‘Boxer’, ‘crossword’ and ‘drought’-all could easily be spotted in the 1990s’ top 15.

Existing data from the 1990s was compared to two million words of then newly collected data from the year 2012 by an earlier study of the team. The researchers have now collected more data and compared the same 1990s collection to a much bigger collection comprising nearly five million words spanning 2012-2015.

At the end of this year 11 million words spanning 2012-2016 will be publicly released.

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Researcher and language expert Robbie Love from Lancaster University in the UK, has made a compiled list of the top 15 most popular words from the 1990s which have since declined the most drastically and the top 15 words, not around in the 1990s, which are massively used today.

Love stated, “These findings suggest the things that are most important to British society are indeed reflected in the amount we talk about them. New technologies like Facebook have really captured our attention, to the extent that, if we’re not using it, we’re probably talking about it,” he said.

He also mentioned that the new data has shed light on some older words which, similar to “marvellous” and “marmalade” in the previous study, clearly appear to have fallen out of fashion in the intervening years.

“The study provides a sense of the way society has expanded since the early 1990s and the end of the offline era. Our priorities are moving away from what is happening on our doorsteps,” Love added.

“New technologies like Facebook have really captured our attention, to the extent that, if we’re not using it, we’re probably talking about it,” he said.

“The new data has shed light on some older words which, similar to “marvellous” and “marmalade” in the previous study, appear to have fallen out of fashion in the intervening years,” he added.

“The study provides a sense of the way society has expanded since the early 1990s and the end of the offline era. Our priorities are moving away from what is happening on our doorsteps,” Love said.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang