Eall writing essay

total word count: 350

The Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (1993: 1516) defines the term “neologism” as ‘a new word, usage, or expression.’

Neologisms do not emerge randomly. They provide a window into human behavior in society and societal changes that shape human behavior. By examining the meaning, function, usage context, and usage patterns of neologisms, we can learn a great deal about language users and the social environment in which they use language to communicate.

In this homework, you will introduce and analyze one neologism that you find interesting for its social implications. It can be from Chinese, Japanese, Korean or English, or dialects of these languages. The homework will be 300 word short and have the following components:

  • What’s the form of this neologism (original form, Roman transliteration/pronunciation if written in East Asian script)?
  • What’s the meaning or function of this neologism?
  • Who use it in what situations? Given 2-3 examples (e.g. from Twitter/WeChat/LINE etc.; screenshots are acceptable as illustrations)
  • Why do you think people use it where they use it? What message do the users convey by using it?
  • What do the use of the neologism tell you about what’s going in society?

This assignment does not require that you go out conducting surveys to answer the above questions. Instead it asks you to draw on your own observation and intuition about your observation. In other words, the analysis will be based on your intuition and introspection (that is when you say I have a feeling that this new word is used for….). This said, the more examples you look at, the more confident you will be in formulating your intuition.


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