Tim Dowling at the Guardian writes about a worthwhile new project:
Almost nothing is marvellous these days, but everything is awesome. According to a study by Lancaster University and Cambridge University Press, Britain has all but abandoned the former adjective in favour of the latter.
Early evidence from their project, the Spoken British National Corpus 2014, shows that “awesome” now turns up in conversation 72 times per million words. “Marvellous”, which 20 years ago appeared 155 times per million words, now appears just twice per million. “Fortnight” is also on the endangered list, as is “cheerio”. …
The project is now calling on people to send in MP3s of their conversations – they’ll even pay a small amount – in order to gain a wider sense of how the language as it is spoken has changed over the years.
The press release is more specific: “For each hour of good quality recordings we receive, along with all associated consent forms and information sheets completed correctly, we will pay £18.” See the link for further details, and send in those MP3s. (Thanks, Eric!)