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Tweet, blog, text: the words that define the Noughties

The 21st century so far has been dominated by the written form, and the words we use tell the story of how we live.

A society can be “read” in any number of ways. Statistics use numbers to tell us how we are changing. Surveys of our habits, tastes, hopes and fears break the world down into easily collated lumps of information. The clothes we wear, the books we read, the food we eat and the way we allocate our time offer windows into our evolving souls.

But there is no better measure of what is happening inside our heads than the words in our mouths, and on our screens. Words — particularly the new words we coin, adapt and absorb — offer an extraordinary index of our interests and concerns, in part because we are often unaware of using them. New words seep into our collective vocabulary so subtly that…

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