The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is up-to-date every 3 months (“on a quarterly basis” as they set it—they suggest “quarterly”). The most current list of updates and additions, posted in June 2021, has 675 key things in four categories, in addition other modifications:
- Words that are completely new to the dictionary This record (196 entries, of which 55 have two new definitions every single) commences with “A2P” (a sort of digital messaging technique) and finishes with “wildland”.
- New sub-entries Compound words or phrases that are now incorporated beneath other headwords (169 entries). The list starts off with “Amazonian Indian” and ends with “wage theft”.
- New senses of aged words and phrases This listing (270 entries) begins with “amar”, an Previous English word, lengthy out of date, this means “to hamper or hinder (a man or woman or action)” and “to wreck or damage (a person or men and women)”. It ends with “windmill”, a type of underarm supply, chiefly in softball.
- Additions to unrevised entries New senses, compound terms, or phrases that ended up presently incorporated as draft entries appended to the conclude of present entries, now absolutely integrated (40 entries). These are also involved in the other groups.
In addition to these, etymologies have been revised and faults corrected (Determine 1).
Determine 1. An case in point of a correction to an OED entry, posted in June 2021 the author of the to start with citation was not Edelman (top rated panel), but Edelson (base panel) also corrected in June 2021 are about 200 citations from distinct editions of the Oxford Textbook of Medicine, beforehand attributed to its editors “J. Weatherall et al.”, now corrected to “D. J. Weatherall et al.” on the other hand, the authors of the chapters from which the citations were being taken are primarily not credited
Objects new to the dictionary do not have to have been lately coined—the dictionary is frequently catching up. Determine 2 reveals a frequency distribution of the quantities of entries whose to start with citations day from each century due to the fact 1100 some are amazingly outdated. The most recent dates of citations are also shown—newly added words may by now be exceptional or obsolete.
Remaining: Frequency distribution of the dates of the earliest citations of 622 new entries in the OED, June 2021 (excludes entries that cite Previous English texts)
Suitable: Frequency distribution of the dates of the latest citations of 70 new entries in the OED, June 2021, whose dates are no later than 1999 (excludes hapax legomena)
The newly entered words and phrases of professional medical curiosity are outlined in Table 1. Pharmacological fascination in the list is restricted to just one medicament and a single adverse drug reaction.
Table 1. New medically related entries in the OED involved in the June 2021 listing of updates
The medicament is remdesivir, originally code named GS-5734, a phosphoramidate derivative of adenosine (Figure 3). When parsing the origin of a drug identify it is finest to commence at the close and do the job backwards. The –vir in remdesivir is a prevalent suffix (as in aciclovir) or infix (as in delavirdine) indicating an antiviral action –desi– is derived from components of adenosine and the prefix rem– is what is acknowledged as a fantasy prefix, an generally meaningless established of letters picked out by the company to distinguish its product or service from other folks with the same ending. For illustration, the sim– in simvastatin and the ator– in atorvastatin distinguish them from other statins. Some prefixes are whimsical somewhat than arbitrary. For example, Piero Sensi and his colleagues at Dow–Lepetit Research Laboratories in Milan made use of to give new compounds nicknames matamycin, for example, they named after Mara Hari, and the rifamycins, this kind of as rifampicin, right after Jules Dassin’s 1955 French heist film, Rififi, total title Du rififi chez les hommes, which around interprets as “men behaving badly”. It was hoped that remdesivir could possibly confirm useful in SARS-CoV2, by inhibiting the virus’s RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Having said that, a viral “proofreading” exonuclease repairs the injury done by the drug. The WHO has encouraged in opposition to making use of remdesivir to handle covid-19.
Determine 3. Remdesivir enters cells, in which the phosphoramidate provider is hydrolysed by esterases and the active triphosphorylated analogue of adenosine (also demonstrated) is fashioned by intracellular nucleoside-phosphate kinases
The adverse drug reaction recently recorded in the OED is cognitive impairment associated with many chemotherapeutic medicine. It was described more than 40 years ago and afterwards supplied the sobriquet “chemo brain”. The earliest citation is from 1991 in the San Francisco Chronicle. It is also recognised as “chemo-fog”, which justifies its own dictionary entry.
I also note a new entry on “festschrift”, which I wrote about in this column in Might 2019. I pointed out that whilst the original indicating of the word, virtually “celebratory writing” in German, was “a selection of writings forming a volume introduced to a scholar or savant on the event of his attaining a specific age or interval in his career”, nowadays it has appear to signify a symposium at which such papers are presented. The dictionary has now caught up with this. The very first definition has been modified to “1. A selection of writings printed in honour of a scholar, normally to mark a major birthday, retirement, etc” to match a new definition: “2. A symposium held to honour a scholar or eminent human being in a particular discipline of review, generally to mark a sizeable birthday, retirement, etc”. On the other hand, a footnote adds “Typically, the papers from the assortment of writings explained at feeling 1 are presented during the symposium.” This is not my encounter usually the papers are printed following the conference, sometimes not at all.
Jeffrey Aronson is a clinical pharmacologist, working in the Centre for Evidence Based mostly Drugs in Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Wellbeing Sciences. He is also president emeritus of the British Pharmacological Modern society.
Competing pursuits: none declared.