Number 128 - Unfriend: Word of the Year

Basic practice
Vocabulary: Words with the prefix un-
News story: Unfriend: Word of the Year

Intermediate practice
Language: Verbs with the prefix un-
News story: Unfriend: Word of the Year

Advanced practice
Language: Verbs with the prefix un-
News story: Unfriend: Word of the Year


Basic practice

Vocabulary: Words with the prefix un-

Look at the examples:
unfriendly (adjective) = not friendly
Simon is very unfriendly sometimes!

unlock (verb) = open a door with a key (the opposite of lock)
I arrive at the office, unlock the door and turn off the burglar alarm.

Are the words in bold adjectives or verbs?

Now check the meaning of the words with a dictionary.

Listen to the sentences.

The news story

Read the news story.

Unfriend: Word of the Year

Unfriend: the act of removing someone as a friend from social networking site Facebook; has been named word of the year. It topped a list of many tech-related terms in the New Oxford American Dictionary's Word of the Year list. The verb, used in several social networking sites, has been defined by the dictionary as: "to remove someone as a 'friend' on a social networking site such as Facebook".

From www.ananova.com

 

Intermediate practice

Language: Verbs with the prefix un-

Some verbs in English form their opposites by adding the prefix un-.
For example: tieuntie
Tie your shoelaces after you put on your shoes.
Untie your shoelaces before you take off your shoes.

Click and drag the words to their definitions.

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The news story

Read and listen to the news story.

Unfriend: Word of the Year

Unfriend: the act of removing someone as a friend from social networking site Facebook; has been named word of the year. It topped a list heavy with tech-related terms in the New Oxford American Dictionary's Word of the Year list. The verb, used across several social networking sites, has been defined by the dictionary as: "to remove someone as a 'friend' on a social networking site such as Facebook".

Christine Lindberg, a language researcher for Oxford's U.S. dictionary, said, "In the online social networking context, its meaning is understood, so its adoption as a modern verb form makes this an interesting choice for Word of the Year."

From www.ananova.com

 

Advanced practice

Vocabulary: Words that describe language

Do the crossword. All the answers are words used to describe language.

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The news story

Read the complete news story.

Unfriend: Word of the Year

Unfriend: the act of removing someone as a friend from social networking site Facebook; has been named word of the year. It topped a list heavy with tech-related terms in the New Oxford American Dictionary's Word of the Year list. The verb, used across several social networking sites, has been defined by the dictionary as: "to remove someone as a 'friend' on a social networking site such as Facebook".

Christine Lindberg, a language researcher for Oxford's U.S. dictionary, said, "In the online social networking context, its meaning is understood, so its adoption as a modern verb form makes this an interesting choice for Word of the Year."

There had been some debate across blogs and Twitter about whether defriend was the more commonly used term, especially on Facebook. However, Oxford spokesman Christian Purdy said researchers found unfriend was more common. Other tech-related words which made the shortlist were: hashtag, the way Twitter users tag their material; sexting, the sending of sexual-themed texts; and intexticated, being distracted by texting while driving.

From www.ananova.com

What do you think?

Think about your answers to the following questions.

  • Do you think that unfriend is a good choice for Word of the Year?
  • Do you know of other "new words" that have recently come into use?
  • Do you think that it's necessary to introduce new words into a language?
  • Have you ever unfriended someone?
  • Would you ever consider doing it?
  • How would you feel if someone unfriended you?

Now listen to a native speaker answering the questions.

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