It’s official, we are all going to hell and lexicographers are leading the way. The geniuses at Oxford Dictionary decided a while ago that it needed to keep up with the times by adding popular social media words to its dictionary. Yes there’s no need to be confused about the meaning of “LOL” because it’s in the dictionary now. None of those embarrassing “lot of love” mistakes anymore. Now it seems we have more social/online speak in the dictionary’s online version.
According to a report by Time, the publishing house has added a host of abbreviations and online colloquialisms to fit with the digital age, such as:
hat tip, n.: in online contexts, used as an acknowledgement that someone has brought a piece of information to the writer’s attention
tweeps, pl. n.: a person’s followers on the social networking site Twitter
lolz, pl. n.: an expression of fun, laughter, or amusement; used especially online.
Wait, am I being punked? “lolz” is a word? Yes according to Oxford Dictionaries Online it is! And so is photobombing, the fantastic art of spoiling a photograph by suddenly appearing in the camera’s view as the picture is taken. Then there is vajazzling, a verb that apparently describes the practice of “adorning the pubic area (of a woman) with crystals, glitter, or other decoration.”
No I am still not kidding, and I am really writing this. More great additions for us to marvel over — ridic, an abbreviation for ridiculous, and UI, an abbreviation for user interface. And just to recognise that we live in the age of Doctor Evil, maniacally laughing villains get a nod with the addition of mwhahaha.
Some more choice addition to the ODO:
Dunbar’s number, n.: a theoretical limit to the number of people with whom any individual is able to sustain a stable or meaningful social relationship (usually considered to be roughly 150).
ethical hacker, n.: a person who hacks into a computer network in order to test or evaluate its security, rather than with malicious or criminal intent.
inbox, v.: send a private message or an email to someone (typically another member of a social networking site or Internet message board).
lifecasting, n.: the practice of broadcasting a continuous live flow of video material on the Internet which documents one’s day-to-day activities.
micro pig, n.: a pig of a very small, docile, hairless variety, sometimes kept as a pet.
soul patch, n.: a small tuft of facial hair directly below a man’s lower lip.
vote, v. [new sense]: dismiss or reject someone or something as unsatisfactory [derived from the reality television show Survivor].
Wikipedian, n.: a person who contributes to the collaboratively written online encyclopedia Wikipedia, esp. on a regular basis.
Unfortunately the ODO is not alone. Earlier this year, Harper Collins decided it was time for people get their favourite social media terms into the Collins English Dictionary. Apparently it was time for words like ‘tweeps’ and ‘cyberstalking’ to have “a better chance at a lasting place in our vocabulary”.