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The Oxford Dictionary of New Words

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form of small tablets, could easily be sold at crowded acid house parties, and lent itself to being 'pumped' down with fizzy drinks and the energetic style of dancing practised there. Despite claims by psychotherapists that it had a legitimate therapeutic use in releasing the inhibitions of some psychiatric patients, research showed that prolonged use could do irreversible damage to nerve cells in the brain, and it was banned in both the US and the UK. It remains one of the most popular illicit drugs of the eighties and early nineties; its

users are sometimes known as Ecstatics.

If cocaine and angel dust were the drugs of the 70s,

Ecstasy may be the escape of the 80s.

Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 31 May 1985, p. 4

It is 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA, ADAM, Decadence, Essence, XTC, Ecstasy. Ecstasy! Paradise induced. And as of July, by emergency order of the Drug Enforcement Administration, illegal.

Washington Post 1 June 1985, section D, p. 1

Police fear Acid House parties...provide an ideal opportunity for professional criminals to sell drugs, particularly the 'designer' drug Ecstasy favoured in the Acid house culture.

Independent 7 Nov. 1988, p. 2

The really great thing was three years ago, the Ecstasy explosion, when everybody started E'ing all over the place, there was all these different sorts of music getting mixed up.

Melody Maker 23-30 Dec. 1989, p. 38


acronym Also written Ecu or ECU (Business World)

Short for European Currency Unit, a unit of account used as a notional currency within the EMS and in Eurobond trading, and intended as the future common currency of EC countries under EMU°. Also, a coin denominated in ecus.

Etymology: An acronym formed on the initial letters of European Currency Unit, but influenced by and deliberately referring back to the French word ‚cu, a name for a historical French gold or silver coin worth different amounts in different periods. This influence explains the fact that most English speakers use an anglicized version of the French pronunciation rather than spelling out.

History and Usage: Ecu was adopted as the name for the European Community's currency unit in the early seventies (after

a short period during which it was known as the EMU, or European Monetary Unit). In the UK the word was hardly known outside financial markets until the late eighties, when it became a

central subject in discussions of EMS and EMU. The value of the ecu is based on a weighted average of a 'basket' of European currencies. The Delors report provided for the ecu to become the single European currency in the third stage of development of EMU, replacing the existing national currencies of EC member states. The UK government in particular opposed this implied loss of national sovereignty, and the Chancellor John Major put the issue at the centre of his counter-proposals for EMU in June 1990, suggesting an intermediate stage when Europe would use a hard ecu alongside national currencies, moving on to the ecu as

a single currency unit only if individual member states decided they wanted this. Ecu coins were minted as collectors' items in some countries, including Belgium, where they have been legal currency since 1987, but are rarely used. Ecus were increasingly popular for business transactions, travellers' cheques, and as a stable currency for mortgages before the UK's

entry to the ERM in October 1990. A million ecus make one mecu and a billion ecus one becu, although neither term is in common use.

Charcol has launched a mortgage in ECUs...because ECUs should be less volatile than a single currency.

Sunday Times 19 Feb. 1989, Business section, p. 15

'I think that really it will become a reality when that currency exists,' he says, pulling an ECU coin out of his pocket.

Financial World 7 Mar. 1989, p. 40

The 1989 budget was adopted on 15 December 1988 and provides for total Community expenditure of 44.8 becu (œ29.9 bn) in payment appropriations.

Accountancy June 1989, p. 43

Another clever aspect of Mr Major's scheme is that the EMF would manage the ecu so that it was never devalued at a currency realignment: it would be a 'hard ecu'.

Economist 23 June 1990, p. 64

5.4 E-free...

E-free (Environment) (Lifestyle and Leisure) see E number

5.5 EFTPOS...

EFTPOS acronym Also written Eftpos, eft/pos, or EFT-Pos (Business World) (Science and Technology)

Short for electronic funds transfer at point of sale, a method of paying for goods and services by transferring the cost electronically from the card-holder's account to the retailer's using a card such as a credit or debit card and a special terminal at the cash-desk.

Etymology: The initial letters of Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale; the formation is modelled on the earlier acronyms EPOS and POS, point of sale.

History and Usage: EFTPOS was heralded in the late seventies as the facility which would ensure a cashless society within a decade. In practice, it was not officially announced in the UK until 1982, and was only generally introduced in the second half of the eighties. The rather cumbersome abbreviation, which does not lend itself very readily to being pronounced as a word, is used mainly in business circles; popularly, EFTPOS facilities in

the UK are usually known by the proper names Switch and Connect,

while in the US EFTPOS is often referred to simply as EFT (an abbreviation which has a longer history than EFTPOS).

While Publix was launching its p.o.s. debit card system last week, Abell and other EFT experts suggested that any debit card system be considered carefully before a supermarket company invests in joining bank-controlled switch networks.

Supermarket News 2 July 1984, p. 20

A trial of some 2,000 EFT-Pos terminals is set to take place, some time in the autumn of 1988, in retailers in Southampton, Leeds and Edinburgh.

Daily Telegraph 29 May 1987, p. 19

EFTPOS...will save you the hassle of writing a cheque or carrying cash around. You hand over a debit card like Switch and Connect cards, which deduct money straight from your bank account.

Which? Feb. 1990, p. 69

5.6 EGA card

EGA card (Science and Technology) see cardý

5.7 electro...

electro combining form, adjective, and noun (Music) (Youth Culture)

combining form and adjective: (Of popular music) making heavy use of electronic instruments, especially synthesizers and drum machines.

noun: A style of popular dance music with a strong and repetitive electronic beat and a synthesized backing track.

Etymology: Electrostarted life as a combining form of electric or electronic, as in familiar scientific terms such as

electromagnetism. In the musical sense it developed from combinations with the names of popular-music styles (electrobeat, electro-disco, etc.) to become an adjective in its own right, and eventually to be used as a noun to describe a particular style of dance music.

History and Usage: The first combinations of electrowith the names of other popular-music styles date from the early eighties, when synthesized and electronically produced sounds were becoming very important in a number of different areas of pop. One of the earliest and most enduring combinations is electrofunk, which expresses just one of the new directions that

funk has taken in the eighties. More temporary combinations have included electro-disco (perhaps the most important, especially

in Belgium), electrobeat, electro-bop, electro-country, and electro-jazz. By the mid eighties the music papers had begun to use electro on its own, both as an adjective and as a noun. Sometimes this was used as another name for electric boogie, the music played on ghetto blasters as an accompaniment to break-dancing in the street, and a style which ultimately fed

into hip hop.

Pianist Herbie Hancock...played a sterling set totally unlike his tarted-up electro-funk of recent years.

Maclean's 29 Mar. 1982, p. 66

No dress restrictions, music policy is well 'ard with P.

Funk, House, Go-Go and Electro cutting in.

Blues & Soul 3 Feb. 1987, p. 34

You get bored with the happening hardcore electro groove business.

New Musical Express 25 Feb. 1989, p. 43

See also techno


(Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) see technostress


adjective (Science and Technology)

In machine-readable form; existing as data which must be read by a computer. Especially in:

electronic mail (often abbreviated to email or e-mail), the transfer of messages or files of data in machine-readable form from one user to one or more others by means of a computer network; also, the messages that are sent and received using this facility;

electronic publishing, the publication of text in

machine-readable form (on tape, discs, CD-ROM, etc.) rather than on paper; texts published in this way;

electronic text (sometimes abbreviated to etext), the machine-readable version of a text, which is created by data capture.

Etymology: A development of the adjective electronic in the sense 'operated by the methods, principles, etc. of electronics' in which a subtle shift from active to passive has taken place: whereas in the original term electronic data processing (a synonym for computing in the sixties), electronic referred principally to the processing rather than to the data, now it is applied also to the 'soft' copy of the text, the object of the processing. Instead of being operated by electronics, these electronic media may only be operated upon by electronic equipment (in practice, specifically by computer). This shift is evident within the development of the term electronic mail itself, which at first only referred to the system (operated electronically), but later came to be used also of the messages (existing in a form which meant that they had to be operated upon by the computer). In general during this period electronic has tended to become a synonym for computerized.

History and Usage: Electronic mail, which relies upon data transfer across telecommunications networks, began in the late seventies and by the mid eighties was frequently abbreviated to email or e-mail. Electronic publishing had begun during the seventies, but did not acquire this name until 1979 and only became a growth industry in the mid eighties; it tends to be

popularly confused with conventional publishing using electronic techniques (especially desk-top publishing). The proliferation

of electronic text was a natural result of the growth of electronic publishing and increasing use of computers for editing and research work during the eighties.

When our coded file arrives, PPI's Atex computer merges electronic text and digitized artwork into a complete page.

Chemical Week 28 July 1982, p. 7

The first Electronic Publishing conference was held at Wembley four years ago.

Daily Telegraph 13 June 1988, p. 27

We read and respond to e-mail as it pleases us, not at our correspondent's convenience.

New Scientist 6 May 1989, p. 66

Just now the Soviet people are getting into networking. They are not yet used to the idea of electronic mail.

Guardian 3 Aug. 1989, p. 20

electronic funds transfer at point of sale

(Business World) (Science and Technology) see EFTPOS

electronic keyboard

(Music) (Science and Technology) see keyboard

electronic point of sale

(Business World) (Science and Technology) see EPOS

electronic tablet

(Science and Technology) see tablet

electronic tagging

(People and Society) (Science and Technology) see tag°

5.8 email...


(Science and Technology) see electronic


abbreviation (Business World)

Short for European Monetary System, a financial arrangement which consists primarily of an exchange-rate mechanism (ERM) linking the currencies of some EC member countries to the ecu so as to limit excessive fluctuations in exchange rates, and common credit facilities.

Etymology: The initial letters of European Monetary System.

History and Usage: The EMS was set up in the late seventies, after the failure of the 'snake' to regulate currency fluctuations in Europe. It grew out of dissatisfaction among

politicians from some EC countries (notably the former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Roy Jenkins, Helmut Schmidt of West Germany, and Val‚ry Giscard d'Estaing of France) with the slow progress of plans for economic and monetary union (see EMU° below). By the time EMS was formally accepted by the European Council in 1978 and put into effect in March 1979, the British government was not prepared to participate fully in it,

declining to take part in the exchange rate mechanism which is the core of the system. EMS was widely discussed in the British newspapers during the late eighties, as plans for EMU began to

move forward, the single European market of 1992 approached, and pressure increased on the UK to join EMS. There was a concentration of uses of the term during 1988-9, when it was reported that the then Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson favoured British participation as a way of controlling

inflation, but could not break Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's opposition to it. This deadlock eventually contributed to Mr Lawson's resignation in October 1989. His

successor, John Major, took the UK into the ERM in October 1990, even though the so-called Madrid conditions had not been met.

Given the existence of the EMS, our continuing non-participation in the ERM cannot fail to cast practical doubt on that resolve [to beat inflation].

Nigel Lawson quoted in The Times Guide to 1992 (1990),


Sterling quickly lost the big early gains that followed ERM entry. But its ability to hold pre-EMS levels is no mean feat.

Financial Times 5 Nov. 1990, section 1, p. 19

EMU° abbreviation Also written Emu (Business World)

Short for economic and monetary union, a programme for full economic unity in the EC, based on the phased introduction of the ecu as a common currency.

Etymology: Now nearly always explained as the initial letters of Economic (and) Monetary Union, although during earlier discussions (see below) it was intended to stand for European Monetary Union, and this expansion is still sometimes given.

History and Usage: EMU is by no means a new abbreviation, the idea having been proposed as early as 1970 as a way of solving currency difficulties in France and Germany. The original plan envisaged that the full union of EC currencies should be

achieved by 1980 and be based on a European monetary unit (see ecu). Little progress towards this aim had taken place by 1978,

when the European Monetary System (see EMS) was adopted by eight member states as the EC's financial system, incorporating a mechanism for controlling exchange rates. A new impetus for EMU was the publication in April 1989 of the Delors report, a

three-stage plan for introducing a common currency and aligning the economies of the Twelve. This was discussed at summits in Madrid and Strasburg during 1989, with Britain (or principally Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher) standing out against acceptance of the plan as it stood--despite the enthusiasm of other member states--because of the implied threat to national sovereignty; stage one was, however, adopted. In June 1990, Chancellor of the Exchequer John Major made a counter-proposal for the phased introduction of a common currency, designed to minimize the effect on sovereignty (see ecu). One result of all this discussion has been the very widespread use of the abbreviation in newspapers and the media generally during the late eighties and early nineties.

The EC's main debate a few months ago centered on 'EMU', or how to achieve economic and monetary union after 1992.

International Management Mar. 1990, p. 21

EC monetary officials interpreted Mr Major's emphasis on the elements of agreement between the British government and the other EC countries on crucial aspects of the

plan for EMU as a deliberate signal of a new line in London.

Guardian 2 Apr. 1990, p. 8

EMUý (Business World) see ecu

5.9 enterprise culture...

enterprise culture

noun (Business World) (People and Society)

A capitalist society in which entrepreneurial activity and initiative are explicitly encouraged; a culture founded on an individualistic, go-getting economic ethic.

Etymology: Formed by compounding: a culture founded on (business) enterprise. In general, enterprise has been a favourite word in the economic vocabulary of the Conservative

government in the UK during the eighties and nineties: see also enterprise zone below.

History and Usage: Put forward by Sir Keith Joseph and other prominent Conservatives from the early eighties in the UK, the enterprise culture was modelled on the spirit of free enterprise which characterized US society. In the UK it found its expression principally in various schemes to encourage small businesses and financial self-reliance, as well as in the fostering of a more individualistic and materialistic atmosphere in British society.

At the age of 27 she has embraced the enterprise culture and established Upstage Theatre.

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