This week's UK news: 1 April 2011
1 April 2011

New vocabulary to learn

The Oxford English Dictionary makes news when it reveals what new words it thinks significant enough to be included in the new edition.

This year, it has included a symbol for the first time. People who look up the word "heart" will also find a heart sign, with a definition that it means "to love".

The heart sign is one of 45,437 new words and meanings in the latest edition of the dictionary. Other new additions include OMG (an abbreviation of Oh My God, used in text messages), muffin top (a roll of fat above a tight waistband) and dotbomb (an internet company which has failed).

What jobs do people in the UK do?

New research shows that 170 years ago there were far fewer teachers, builders or journalists. Teaching has grown the most, with numbers rising from 1,100 in 1841 to almost 1.5m last year.

Other jobs which have become more popular include dentistry, stockbroking, accountancy, law and hairdressing.

There are half as many butchers and publicans (people who run bars) as there were in 1841 and very few bee dealers or egg merchants. Jobs which have disappeared altogether include lunatic keepers (who would have worked in hospitals for mentally ill people) and ice dealers.

A famous student of English speaks

The manager of the England football team is Fabio Capello, who comes from Italy and did not previously speak English.

Capello, who has been doing the job since 2007, took an English course but his skills have been criticised.

This week he said: "I think when I speak with the players they understand everything. If I need to speak about the economy or other things, I can't. But when you speak about tactics, you don't use a lot of words. I don't have to speak about a lot of different things. Maximum 100 words."

Form-filling for everyone in the UK

Every household in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland had to fill out a detailed form this week.

The census is done every 10 years, and the idea is that the Government can find out more about the population in order to help it plan for the future. This year's census included questions on working, qualifications, health and religion.

Census forms were sent to 27 million homes. One million people are thought to have filled out the questions online.

Royal Wedding update…

Not much to report this week. Prince William has apparently held his stag party (this is something traditionally done by men about to marry and can involve lots of drinking) and street parties will be held in some areas to celebrate the wedding.


by Susan Young (


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