If you don’t know what the words “retweet,” “sexting” and “woot” mean, then the 100-year-old Oxford Dictionary can now help you pore through these 21st-century terms as they have been recently added to its centenary edition.
The 12th edition of the esteemed Oxford English Dictionary (OED) now contains some 400 new entries, some of which are a testament to the continuing evolution of language especially in the time of the Internet.
In its new edition, the OED defines retweet as a “repost or a forward” of a message on the social networking site Twitter; sexting as the “the sending of sexually explicit photographs or messages” via mobile phone; and woot as an expression of “elation, enthusiasm or triumph.”
“The new 12th edition of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary contains some 400 new entries,” said Angus Stevenson, the editor of OED’s 12th edition. “These additions are just carrying on the tradition of a dictionary that has always sought to be progressive and up to date.”
Aside from the three new terms, new-generation slang such as “cyberbullying,” “textspeak” and “noob” have also made it into the list of new words.
While OED acknowledges how new words formed in recent times slowly creep into common vocabulary, it likewise realized how recent developments—especially in technology—have birthed new meanings to age-old terminologies.
This is evident in the dictionary’s change of definition of the words “follower” to also mean “‘someone who is tracking a particular person, group, etc. on a social networking site,” and “friend” as “a contact on a social networking website.”
Huffington Post said Stevenson told a TV interview that “new words often reflect the era in which they were added to the dictionary,” commenting on the impact new consumer technologies such as social media and the Internet have had on language.
To prove the new words’ ubiquity, the OED had to enter the proposed terms into a database of 2 billion words drawn from contemporary websites and texts, UK’s The Telegraph reports.
Earlier this year, the OED had included Internet initialisms such asOMG (Oh my God) and LOL (Laugh Out Loud) to its roster. — with Stacy de Jesus/RSJ, GMA News