Word play

12.09.45: NEW WORDS included in the latest edition of the Chambers 21st-Century Dictionary include 'twirk', meaning a person who travels daily to a place of employment (from 'I'm off to work');

Also, 'gobslot', the voice-bar on a voice-activated machine; 'stroof', communications expert (possibly a corruption of 'it's the truth'); 'owls', Oldies With Loot; and 'shah-pahs', a pejorative term for the few surviving speakers of home counties English, referring to their pronunciation of words such as 'shower' and 'power'.

Obsolete words that have been deleted include: 'political correctness' (a label for briefly fashionable words designed to eliminate references to sex, age and race); 'doily', a lacy paper mat laid under food on a plate; 'mechanic', a human operator who repairs machines; and 'history' (now subsumed into 'time studies'). RG

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