(This post first appeared on my blog, Content is Queen Blogger)
Dictionaries have always been seen as a trustworthy reference source. Have you ever wondered how new words become part of the English language, officially?
Social media lingo has definitely penetrated our language. The Oxford English Dictionary added the words “tweet”, “retweet” and “sext” last week. In 2009 the OED added the word “Twitter” as a verb and a noun.
What does this say about today’s society?
I personally am not quite sure what it says about the quality of words that are being added to our dictionaries. Can you use these new words in essays? In serious research papers and dissertations (besides those that are on the topic of social media).
Today, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary added the words “tweet” and “social media” as part of their 150 additions.
The dictionary’s editor said that the new terms are decided upon in an informal manner. Apparently it is just a process of seeing a word used frequently and in many different sources.
I personally am still a skeptic. I am coming from an educational background where I majored in English and History and I just can’t wrap my head around subjectively adding words to a dictionary based on public usage. Maybe I am biased…but what words will we possibly see next?
What words will our kids grow up with? What will their vocabularies be like?
I grew up in suburbia where the girls and teenagers used the words “like” in-between every other word…you know the type. What will the next generation sound like?