I had a bit of a tiff last week with a client who claimed that ‘resident’ was a noun and could not be used as an adjective, as I had done – the person was resident in Timbuctoo (for reasons of privacy, names have been changed). The client is a big university and unfortunately, the few times I have had this kind of discussion with a client, it has generally been with someone from the academic community.

I occasionally correct academic texts that have been written in English by non-native speakers. But recently, academia has started following marketing and the corporate world in their inclination to … make up words! A few examples from the text I worked on this week:

extractivist (from the Portuguese ‘extractavismo’)


limboscape (no, nothing to do with that fun bend-over-backwards dance)


and the verbs visibilise and othering.

And of course, because I know the text was written by someone whose mother tongue is not English, my initial assumption is that they’re mistaken but no, I’m the one who’s mistaken! These words (and many more like them) are alive and well and living in Academia.

A deep bow to editors of academic texts!