A Study Of Lexical Changes Of Modern English Based On Barney Stinson

3233 words - 13 pages

A Study of Lexical Changes of Modern English Based on Barney Stinson's The Bro Code崔佳灿(河北师范大学外国语学院 石家庄 050024)[Abstract] Lexical change is an inseparable part of language study. With the development of science and technology, many words are created or shifted from its original meaning. By selecting the representative words from the New York Times bestseller The Bro Code, this article listed thirty words and made detailed analysis of its etymology and meaning, so as to probe into the reason of the latest creation of words and lexical changes.[Keywords] lexical change, The Bro Code, modern EnglishIntroductionAt every stage in the history of any language certain words will undergo a change in meaning. We might refer to changes in the meaning of words as lexical changes. (高志怀,2001:222) Language faithfully represent the spirit of the time. Users give a new concept to an old form, and so the meaning of a form is multiplied. Even in Shakespearean time, lexical changes are commonly found. The word "admiration" used to mean astonishment, and the words "to season" meant "to moderate" in Shakespeare's time. In Hamlet, when Horatio told Hamlet "Season your admiration for a while…" Horatio does not mean to "increate his respect for something", but "to moderate his astonishment." And in Romeo and Juilet, when Juilet told Romeo "I am fond", she wasn't showing her fondness to Romeo, but to say "I am too foolish". With the development of science and technology, many words are created to account for the new meanings or referents. The number of new words in the English language is growing at a fast speed, each year many new words are created and accepted by the mass public. The CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" has been broadcasted in United States of America for nine years with a viewership of more than ten million people. The show enjoyed such popularity that several books are published to entertain people with missing facts from the show. The Bro Code is one of them. As a New York Times bestseller, The Bro Code uses humorous language to tell the dos and don'ts between male friends. To make the book appealing to younger reader, many newly-created words and slangs are introduced so the book serves a great example to study the lexical changes in modern English. After a thorough reading of the whole book, thirty words are selected. These words are selected according to the principles that either 1) the word is not listed in Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary (Extended fourth edition) or 2) the word is listed in OALD but the meaning in the context is not provided. This paper shall analyze the current meaning of the word compared to the original meaning in order to study the lexical changes. The current meaning of the word is provided from online urban dictionary (http://www.urbandictionary.com/) and...

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