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OBSERVATIONS ON THE CURRENT BREXPLOSION: BOOM OF BREXIT-RELATED BLENDINGS

Diana Miteva

Abstract

This paper aims to outline the dynamic appearance of numerous blendings (or portmanteau words), connected with Brexit. Based on a study of coverage of the Brexit debate, the UK referendum and the post-Brexit process in the British and word press, as well as articles and responses in the social media (blogs, Twitter, facebook etc.), some conclusions are drawn about the blending word formation patterns in the Brexit lexicon, their frequency of appearance and their value orientation and function. These portmanteau words have predominantly strong connotative meanings, expressing clearcut political and citizen positions.

While the frequency of some terms are examined in the framework of News on the Web Corpus, the approach to the Brexit lexicon boom is interdisciplinary rather than strictly linguistic, the phenomenon being regarded in its wide socio-cultural context. The language creativity and word play demonstrated seems to be a coping strategy for some of the British people, a reaction to a process that has dramatically divided the society. Posts, blogs and twitters have served as bonding platforms, as a forum of sharing a whole range of emotions and expressing subtle nuances while resorting to irony and language creativity.

This phenomenon seems to go far beyond Brexit, Britain and the EU. It seems to have triggered a whole trend in the use and abuse of the language of departure worldwide, indicating social turmoil and profound social and cultural changes in the political and economic climate. 


Keywords

Brexit, blending, coinage, language of departure

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