Submissions/Wikinglish: Can the ‘Wikis’ Be the Point of Reference for the Emerging Trends in English?

From Wikimania 2011 • Haifa, Israel

This is an open submission for Wikimania 2011.

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Title of the submission
Wikinglish: Can the ‘Wikis’ Be the Point of Reference for the Emerging Trends in English?
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Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)

English language, because of its constantly evolving, developing and encompassing nature, is always receptive to newer words, terms, phrases, proverbs, usage, grammatical changes, etc. Consider the some of the new words, which are now part of contemporary English, and their definitions on Wikipedia:

(i) Agritourism, as it is defined most broadly, involves any agriculturally-based operation or activity that brings visitors to a farm or ranch. Agritourism has different definitions in different parts of the world, and sometimes refers specifically to farm stays, as in Italy. Elsewhere, agritourism includes a wide variety of activities, including buying produce direct from a farm stand, navigating a corn maze, picking fruit, feeding animals, or staying at a B&B on a farm...

(ii) Carjacking is a form of hijacking, where the crime is of stealing a motor vehicle and so also armed assault when the vehicle is occupied. Historically, such as in the rash of semi-trailer truck hijackings during the 1960s, the general term hijacking was used for that type of vehicle abduction, which did not often include kidnapping of the driver, and concentrated on the theft of the load, rather than the vehicle itself...

Now consider some of the recently entered terms in English and their definitions on Wikipedia:

(i) A Netizen (from Internet and citizen) or cybercitizen is a person actively involved in online communities...

(ii) Citizen journalism (also known as "public", "participatory", "democratic", "guerrilla" or "street journalism") is the concept of members of the public "playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information," according to the seminal 2003 report We Media: How Audiences are Shaping the Future of News and Information. Authors Bowman and Willis say: "The intent of this participation is to provide independent, reliable, accurate, wide-ranging and relevant information that a democracy requires."

If you, out of your quest for knowledge in learning new words, terms, phrases, proverbs, etc, try to refer to Oxford’s or Webster’s Dictionary, then it is doubtful if all of these words will be incorporated in these dictionaries – not because these dictionary are non-receptive to new words, but because there time gap between one edition and another, and in all likelihood, newer developments are bound to surface while the older ones are being addressed. Hence, compared to these highly and widely acknowledged etymological repositories, the world of Wikis – Wikipedia, Wikitionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks, etc can better serve to showcase the emerging trends of contemporary English.

Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)
Knowledge and Collaboration
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  1. CT Cooper · talk 09:42, 21 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Blahma 12:51, 1 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Vibhijain 11:30, 5 May 2011 (UTC) Wikitionary is a better option for it. Still, seems interesting.[reply]
  4. DrorK 21:31, 7 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Deryck Chan 23:41, 12 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Amir E. Aharoni