J.P. Davison said the survey of 2,000 adults Sept. 19-27, carried out to mark the release of his book, "Planet Word," indicates words including "verily," "rambunctious," "salutations," "betwixt" and "bally" are falling out of style in favor of digitally inspired "text speak" such as "lol" (laughing out loud) and "jel" (jealous).
"Language is something that is constantly evolving," Davison said. ''You only have to look on Twitter to see evidence of the fact that a lot of English words that are used say in Shakespeare's plays or PG Wodehouse novels -- both of them avid inventors of new words -- are so little used that people don't even know what they mean now."
''This could be viewed as regrettable, as there are some great descriptive words that are being lost and these words would make our everyday language much more colorful and fun if we were to use them," he said. ''But it's only natural that with people trying to fit as much information in 140 characters that words are getting shortened and are even becoming redundant as a result."