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The English language according to Microsoft

New Encarta dictionary snubs the Queen's English

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According to Microsoft, one is no longer amused by the Queen's English. Bill Gates has made it his quest to get us all saying fanny instead of bottom before the Millennium. British English is obviously outdated and needs a few Americanisms thrown in, so Microsoft has come up with a dictionary of world English. The Encarta World English Dictionary will hit our shores in hard-back next week, and be available on CD-Rom from August. It took 320 experts to come up with this new English Esperanto. And as predicted, Gates has managed to slip in a bit of techy-jargon – such as the word "notwork", a PC network that doesn't work, and "digerati" – the Internet cultural elite. Other gems included are a Gym rat – an exercise fanatic, arm candy – a female escort, and daddy track – a man who works fewer hours to be with his family. In addition, there is the phonetically-challenged "puh-leeze" – which, according to today's Financial Times, is "used facetiously to express astonishment." And we just thought it was spelt wrongly. Non-Americanisms listed are "scungies" – swimming trunks in Australia, and "bazodee" – a word used in the Caribbean when thinking is blurred by psychological chaos. Which is indeed what the English language seems to be in the midst of. ®

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