Oxford English Dictionary adds text-speak words to list of new words

OMG, did you guys hear about this? Some new words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary, my writing BFF, last week. Some of you may think this is NBD, but some people are saying otherwise.

For instance, my BFF Jill may not agree. Without these “words” being added to the dictionary how will the next generation ever know about text-speak and other words added this year like doughnut hole and wassup?

Try typing wassup into a Word document and you will still get a red line underneath it telling you that you are wrong. Now try OMG, NBD and BFF – you’re totally cool. BFF was actually added to last year’s edition of the Oxford Dictionary.

Most of these new words are things that we type with thumbs, not things that we say with our tongues. A person usually does not run up to someone screaming, “OMG, I totally just saw Brad’s GF with another boy!” That is why these new words that stand for other words are causing a stir with the literary community.

This isn’t the beginning either. To ‘google’ something is now a universally understood verb for several countries that are introducing Internet slang to their language.

These new ‘words’ such as OMG and NBD are examples of text-speak, though. Linguists are worried, but only a little. Given the rise of iPhones and Android phones, only about 10% of words in text messages are abbreviated or shortened. That’s a lot less than you thought, isn’t it?

Oxford has taken a stand to admitting these words. They’ve actually come out and said they are not words, but in fact initialisms. The first initialism ever was OED (Oxford English Dictionary) followed up by familiar names such as Nabisco (National Biscuit Company) and Sunoco (Sun Oil Company).

The difference between all these things is that some words were invented, such as google and app, and others are letters that are now words that stand for other words. Literary experts say that these new ‘initialisms’ are “hijacking” the already existing words and phrases that have held their own for years.

An initialism that has not held its own is the famous LOL. It seems that LOL was the first big text-speak abbreviation to make it big. However, in the 1940s LOL actually meant ‘little old lady.’ So next time that friend sends you a witty response and you respond with LOL, think about that little old lady.

Random words that were also added this year: cyberbullying, jazz hands, scrunchy, tanorexia (an addiction to tanning) and taquito.

Oh, also defined this year was the heart symbol. If you were wondering, it’s a verb.

“I ❤ all these new words, like OMG, forealz?”


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