Anne Curzan

What makes a word "real"?

17:13 •
Filmed Jan 2014 at TEDxUofM
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One could argue that slang words like ‘hangry,’ ‘defriend’ and ‘adorkable’ fill crucial meaning gaps in the English language, even if they don't appear in the dictionary. After all, who actually decides which words make it into those pages? Language historian Anne Curzan gives a charming look at the humans behind dictionaries, and the choices they make.

Anne Curzan
/ Language historian

English professor Anne Curzan actually encourages her students to use slang in class. A language historian, she is fascinated by how people use words—and by how this changes.  Full bio.

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