OMG, BFF! It's in the dictionary, LOL

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Reality Orlando, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. Reality Orlando

    Reality Orlando Verified Aquaculturalist

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    I guess it was just a matter of time:

    LONDON — OMG! LOL! The venerable Oxford English Dictionary approves of the three-letter, Internet-inspired expressions you use for “Oh, my God!” and “Laughing out loud.”

    It is adding them to the authoritative reference book’s latest online update.

    You can now text the news to your BFF. That’s “best friends forever.”

    All three expressions — and IMHO, or “in my humble opinion” — are among 900 new words included this week. Cracking the dictionary, however, is no easy task.

    http://www.news-press.com/article/20110326/NEWS01/110325052/1002/NEWS01/Don-t-LOL-s-now-dictionary
     
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  3. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    One of the great powers of the English language has always been its ability
    to incorporate usage from many sources. The OED is simply recognizing that function.

    A bit of a shocker here, though, I'll agree! It's the shock of the new.
     
  4. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    I'm not shocked. Use of the OED may be more common now that it is available on line, but for years it was available only at universities or big city libraries because of cost.

    So it was used primarily by scholars.

    My sense is that the OED thinks of itself not as an arbiter of what words matter, but as the publication of record on changes in the English language. So in a very real sense, its concern is more with providing a record for scholars 100 years from now, just as it provides today's scholars with info on word usage in the time of Shakespeare.

    And as the article suggests, some of the "new" coinages may not be as new as we think (i.e., "OMG" goes back to at least 1917).

    ETA it is widely agreed in academia that the great strength of the English language has always been its willingness to absorb new words (as opposed to French, say, the supposed "purity" of which is governed by a special Academy). I'm sure the OED chooses words carefully and with much internal debate, but, as I said above, IMO its primary purpose isn't to "protect" the language.
     
  5. LunaticFringe

    LunaticFringe I know you're out there...

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    Please tell me babydaddy isn't in the dictionary as a word now too.
     

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