Susie Dent Biography
Susie Dent is an English lexicographer, etymologist and television presenter. She was born on 19 November 1964 in Woking, Surrey, England.
Dent was educated at the Marist Convent in Ascot, an independent Roman Catholic day school. She went on to Somerville College, Oxford for her B.A. in modern languages, then to Princeton University for her master’s degree in German.
Dent is well known as the resident lexicographer and adjudicator for the letters rounds on Channel 4’s long-running game show Countdown. She has appeared in “Dictionary Corner” on the Channel 4 game show Countdown every year since 1992.
She also appears on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, a post-watershed comedy version of the show presented by comedian Jimmy Carr.
Dent appeared as herself in an episode of the BBC sitcom Not Going Out. Dent presented a web series for Channel 4 titled Susie Dent’s Guide to Swearing where she explored the etymology and history of a number of English swear words. She has also made an appearance on BBC entertainment show Would I Lie to You?.
Susie Dent Age
She was born on 19 November 1964 in Woking, Surrey, England.
Susie Dent Husband – Susie Dent Married
Susie Dent is married to Paul Atkins. Paul Atkins is the CEO of Patomak Global Partners LLC.
Susie Dent Children
She has two children, daughters namely Thea Atkins and Lucy Atkins.
Susie Dent Net Worth
She has an estimated net worth $7 million.
Susie Dent Salary
Her annual salary is estimated to be about $440,000.
Susie Dent Books
- The Language Report: The Ultimate Record of What We’re Saying and How We’re Saying It
- Larpers and Shroomers: The Language Report
- Winning Words
- Fanboys and Overdogs
- The Like, Language Report for Real
- The Language Report: English on the Move 2000 – 2007
- Words of the Year
- How to Talk Like a Local: From Cockney to Geordie
- What Made the Crocodile Cry? 101 questions about the English language
- Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (Editor)
- Susie Dent’s Weird Words
- Dent’s Modern Tribes: The Secret Languages of Britain
Susie Dent Legs – Susie Dent Feet
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Susie Dent Tattoo
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Susie Dent Surgery
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Susie Dent Twitter
Susie Dent Instagram
Susie Dent Interview
The marketing world is full of buzzwords that are popping up every year. Judging on this year’s Cannes Lions, among the most popular are ‘authenticity’, ‘honesty’, ‘credibility’ – the most basic human values, actually. How do you, as an etymologist, see this ‘need’ of some industries (such as advertising and marketing) to invent and express themselves with these currently popular words?
1. Health Benefits of Apples
2. Health Benefits of Bananas
3. Health Benefits of Honey
4. Health Benefits of Ginger
5. Health Benefits of Garlic
6. Health Benefits of Lemon
7. Health Benefits of Pumpkin
8. Health Benefits of Watermelons
1. 25 Sexual Questions to Ask A Girl
2. 45 Things a Girl Wants But Wont Ask For
3. 10 Things You’re Doing that are Killing Your Kidneys
4. 25 Really Romantic Ideas to Make Your Lover Melt!
5. 60 Really Sweet Things To Say To A Girl
6. 19 Things Women in Relationships Must Not Do
7. 20 Things Women Should Never, Ever, Do
8. Top 20 Things Men Should Never, Ever, Do
Susie Dent: Buzzwords have been around for a very long time. At the turn of the 20th century, for example, when the Second Industrial Revolution was well underway, all emphasis was on productivity, encapsulated in mechanistic words like ‘maximizing’, ‘precision’, or ‘efficiency’. In later decades, as workers’ satisfaction came to be seen as the key to success, more empathetic buzzwords crept in, such as ‘mindshare’ and ‘synergy’. Buzzwords are essentially linguistic fashions that come and go, but they are a very useful mirror of the preoccupations of their time. Those of very recent times, such as ‘authenticity’ and ‘honesty’, are a reminder of our concern with ‘fake news’ and our fear that politicians and commercial bodies are primarily out to hoodwink us to their own ends. In this climate, it’s unsurprising that genuine credibility has become the ultimate goal.
In 2013, ‘selfie’ was even announced ‘word of the year’ by the Oxford English Dictionary. Now, after 4 years, it has already become a ‘normal’ word, something that we all use in everyday language. In your experience, how long does it usually take for a new word to become a part of our language (and not just slang)?
Susie Dent: There is no definitive answer to this – a word may take many years to bed in, while others suddenly explode onto the scene in the way that, for example, chav did in 2004, thanks to the efforts of a single website (although even that word is over 150 years old, proving that there is very little that’s new under the linguistic sun). What we can say is that words today can travel more quickly than at any time in history, thanks largely to our new media which enable a neologism to be picked up on the other side of the world within seconds. As for slang, that is as legitimate a subset of our language as dialect, even though it is often seen as an inferior, even illegitimate form of expression. While it’s true that it does often represent the margins of mainstream life, slang was the first language to be collected in dictionaries centuries ago, and it is still being reflected in dictionaries today.
Iconic brands such as Apple or Nike are great wordsmiths. Some of their slogans (‘Just do It’ from Nike, Apple’s ‘Think Different’, or ‘Impossible is Nothing’ by Adidas…) influenced not only advertising industry, but also a whole society and its culture. What does is take for a slogan to connect with a consumer in such a powerful way?
Susie Dent: I think much of it is about tapping into the mindset of the time. With ‘Think Different’ (rather than ‘think differently’), Apple perfectly encapsulated their call for change and creativity. They tilted language in the same way as they asked their customers to tilt their beliefs and habits. Adidas were doing largely the same thing: by inverting the expected formula they stopped us in our tracks and made us think, and, of course, absorb the message of the brand. Similarly, McDonalds popularized a whole new linguistic tense with ‘I’m loving it’, a simple expression of approval that found its way into teen and even adult slang within weeks.
Most of the new words in marketing are born in an English-speaking world and their translation in other languages can be very difficult. In your opinion, should the marketing industry (or any other) strive to translate these words in their own language – and thus develop it further or just stick to English (which is, of course, the easy way out)?
Susie Dent: I believe that staying local within a global brand is enormously important. Global messages can often miss the specific needs of a country or community or, by trying to encompass every market, end up with an unclear, woolly, or bland message to the consumer. Furthermore, the direct translation of a slogan into a native language can be a minefield. Coca Cola’s name, for example, when first marketed in China, was sometimes translated as ‘Bite the Wax Tadpole’, while their rival Pepsi’s slogan ‘Pepsi Brings You Back to Life’ was allegedly debuted in China as ‘Pepsi Brings You Back from the Grave’. Even keeping the same message within English-speaking markets has its perils – as when Electrolux took to advertising its vacuum cleaners in the US with the tagline ‘Nothing sucks like an Electrolux’.
An appropriate word can obviously affect a performance of a marketing campaign. Are there any words that should never be used in marketing? We know that we should avoid negative words (unless our aim is to frighten people in order to make them act in a desirable way) – but are there any other rules advertisers should follow?
Susie Dent: Most words on a marketing taboo list are there because they are either emptily jargonistic, or because they elicit the wrong responses. For the former, phrases that are merrily trotted out by companies to clients include ‘customer-led’ (every company worth its salt should be ‘customer-led’), and ‘unique’ (overused). Equally, within sales pitches, the word ‘brave’ is best avoided – it carries the implicit message that those pitching may waste a lot of their clients’ money delivering an obscure message that may not work. One example often held up in the ad industry is Pot Noodle’s one-liner ‘the Slag of Snacks’ – that was certainly brave, but ultimately also misguided. Other no-nos are more nuanced – certainly positivity is key, as long as it’s not to the point of clownish excess; the overriding goal is to encourage positive action on the part of the consumer.
It’s also worth mentioning that some apparently innocent words seem to have a distinctly negative psychological impact – any marketing campaign for a cake, for example, would do well to avoid use of the word ‘moist’, which repeatedly features at the top of the nation’s most-hated wordlist!
You are coming to the SEMPL conference in November. What would be your key message to the SEMPL audience?
Susie Dent: Above all I’d encourage the audience to rethink the way they use language. I think many of us feel a lack of confidence in the way we communicate our ideas, which results in a tendency to stick with the tried and tested, afraid to experiment. We shouldn’t need to avoid natural, emotional language, nor should we opt instead for one that’s bland and grey. There’s a wealth of colour at our fingertips that we should never be too scared to dip into. That would be my key recommendation – make language a priority, but don’t be afraid of it. Be brave, use it, play with it, and above all, enjoy it.