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Oxford Dictionaries: Big society is the word of 2010

24th November 2010

'Big society' has been named the word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries.

The phrase, which was coined by prime minister David Cameron to encourage individuals, businesses and charities to play a larger role in the running of communities, was deemed to have attracted the most attention over the past 12 months.

It has been used extensively over the last year, first in the Conservative Party's general election campaign and then in subsequent speeches and policies after the coalition government came into power.

Language expert Susie Dent, a spokeswoman for Oxford Dictionaries, commented: 'Big society was for us a clear winner because it embraces so much of the year's political and economic mood. Taken to mean many things, it has begun to take on a life of its own.'

Other words and phrases featured on Oxford Dictionaries' shortlist for word of the year included double-dip, Tea Party, upcycling, showmance, vuvuzela and preloading.

Writing in the Guardian this week, ACEVO deputy chief executive Peter Kyle claimed the government's big society policies to date have fallen short of the ideal promised by Mr Cameron during the election.
 

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