What is "Words in the news" all about?As the title implies, this daily (well, six days a week) column is based on words that have recently appeared in a local or international news story. The words chosen are outside of the most basic English vocabulary, but they are still of high enough frequency that you will see them if you read an English language newspaper regularly.
Low frequency words or expressions are seldom included and for that reason, this column rarely includes idioms. You will certainly see idioms in newspaper stories - particularly in headlines - but you will seldom see the same idiom twice. Studies have shown that individual idioms generally occur less than ten times in ten million words of text, a fact that has been confirmed again and again from my own personal ten-million word database.
After two and a half years, it is getting more and more difficult to find new words, so as of January 2003 I am going to begin to repeat some that I have covered before. I will still scour the news pages each day, however, so each word will be based on a recent occurrence in a news story.
Go back to today's word.
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Last modified: January 2, 2003