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Emerging preoccupations, developing lexicon: How the English language lexicon expands as the priorities and concerns of speakers change

Abstract

‘There is a very close link between the life of a society and the lexicon of the language spoken by it.’ (Wierzbicka, 1997: 1).

A few decades ago it probably seemed, to proficient English language users, that if one was ‘active’ that would be sufficient to win plaudits from one's boss and to impress one's friends. After all, being active implies, amongst other things, that one's behaviour is ‘characterized by busy or lively activity’ (Oxford Dictionaries online). However, more recently it has begun to seem that activeness is not enough: one must be ‘proactive’. Cooley (2016) provides readers with ten ways in which they can be more proactive at work. The promotion of proactiveness (or should that be proactivity?) seems, at least on the evidence of this extract, to require a liberal sprinkling of exclamation marks

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Corresponding author
Email: brianqpoole@gmail.com
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English Today
  • ISSN: 0266-0784
  • EISSN: 1474-0567
  • URL: /core/journals/english-today
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