Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dictionary of Antiquated words

The Virtual Linguist, recently posted about a new dictionary of slang for young people. This dictionary is unusual in that the "slang" is the language of senior citizens. The "Gran Slang" dictionary contains words that are commonly used by older people but unknown to the younger generation. Some of the included words are: higgledy-piggledy, poppycock, scallywag, tomfoolery and whippersnapper. The dictionary also includes a "Youth Slang" section for older readers.

Home and Capital, a British equity release company, claims they produced the dictionary, "to help younger people understand and communicate with their grandparents." I, however, am prone to believe that the dictionary was produced primarily as a marketing tool because as Home and Capital states, "good communication between generations is important...particularly when it comes to financial matters."

At any rate, I initially thought the idea of a "Gran Slang" dictionary was a good one until I thought about the fact that all of the "gran slang" word definitions can be found in any decent dictionary. Now I am left weighing the amount communications between generations would actually benefit from such a dictionary against the amount of laziness such a dictionary would promote in youth by discouraging them from picking up a regular dictionary to look up a word.

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