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December 28 2012

Physicists Explore The Rise And Fall Of Words


(ISNS) -- Every year the Oxford English Dictionary expands, incorporating freshly coined terms such as "bromance," "staycation" or "frenemy." However, a recent analysis has found that as a language grows over time, it becomes more set in its ways. New words are always being added, according to this study, but few become widely used and part of the standard vocabulary.

"There are a lot of new hip words that are sort of popping out, but the popularity and the lifespan of these words are very short," said Matjaz Perc, a physics professor at the University of Maribor in Slovenia and one of the authors of the paper. "Our study shows that we don't really need them, so the mileage that we get out of them is very low compared to other words.".

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