'Retweet' and 'woot' make Oxford dictionary debut
Published: 19th Aug 2011 13:07:02
Woot! Technology-inspired words are among the 400 added to the newest Concise Oxford English Dictionary.
They include retweet - to pass on a message on Twitter, and textspeak - a language that typically young people use to talk lyk dis.
Other words such as cyberbullying and sexting also make their debut.
"These additions are just carrying on the tradition of a dictionary that has always sought to be progressive," said OED editor Angus Stevenson.
"Social networking sites have created a real language of the net," he explained in a blog post.
"We've noticed that new words come into currency much more quickly as a result of the internet, as people see friends, or friends of friends using new words and copy them."
He said that words like woot or w00t - an exclamation of triumph and success - can originate abroad but rapidly gain mass usage across the rest of the English-speaking world.
I don't know why people can't just say 'hurrah' but maybe I'm being old fashioned.”
"The expression 'woot' began in America but was picked up very quickly by people in Britain, as a result of the internet breaking down international boundaries," said Mr Stevenson.
Launched in 1911, the Concise Oxford English Dictionary was intended to be an evolving, modern catalogue of words.
Its first edition, which is 100 years old this month, included popular slang terms such as shirty, parky and piffle.
Emerging technology has always been a big driver for new words. The 1911 edition included biplane - a aeroplane with two sets of wings, and marconigram - a message sent via radio.
Other pre-existing words have had their meanings shaped by popular tech culture.
In the most recent edition, follower has been amended to also mean "someone who is tracking a particular person, group, etc. on a social networking site".
Meanwhile, friend has been redefined by the Facebook generation to simply mean someone you regularly interact with online.
Senior editor of the dictionary, Fiona McPherson said that it was important to make sure new words have entered common usage.
"First and foremost it's about the evidence. So as long as people are using it and we can find independent examples."
She explained that independent could mean appearances in newspapers and books.
"Some words are flash in the pan, but you can normally gauge by using your own judgement whether or not something is going to have a life," added Ms McPherson.
Despite the embracing of new, hip words and phrases, the editors of the dictionary openly admit they are not always enthusiastic users of the new lexicon.
"I don't know why people can't just say hurrah but maybe I'm being old fashioned," said Mr Stevenson.
At 10:03:00 in WorldThe last communication received from a Malaysia Airlines plane suggest everything was normal on board minutes before it went missing over the South China Sea, Malaysian authorities say.
At 09:48:56 in SportWest Brom captain Chris Brunt has been ruled out of action for up to six weeks with a knee injury.
At 09:48:39 in EntertainmentDecriminalising TV licence fee evasion could close BBC channels, the corporation's strategy director has warned.
At 09:42:57 in SportSouthend United have signed Liverpool's Czech defender Jakub Sokolik on a youth loan until the end of the season.
At 09:28:06 in SportPeterborough United boss Darren Ferguson has questioned the commitment of his players, saying they would be relegated without him.
At 09:27:38 in EnglandAllowing toll operators to increase charges by "any amount" could leave drivers exposed to "substantial" price rises, a campaign group has warned.
At 09:25:02 in Northern IrelandIrish police's handling of penalty points for motorists is expected to be strongly criticised in a report.
At 09:20:57 in EnglandA food bank in Chichester has said the number of people needing its services has nearly trebled since it opened 18 months ago.
At 09:19:30 in WalesThousands of poppies are to be planted across Swansea and will come into flower this summer to mark the 100th anniversary of World War One.
At 09:15:11 in BusinessThe Bank of Thailand cut its benchmark interest rate by 0.25 percentage points to 2%, its lowest level in three years.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2011. 'Retweet' and 'woot' make Oxford dictionary debut [Online] (Updated 19th Aug 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/179109/Retweet-and-woot-make-Oxford-dictionary-debut [Accessed 12th Mar 2014]
News In Other Categories
Decriminalising TV licence fee evasion could close BBC channels, the corporation's strategy director has warned.
The Bank of Thailand cut its benchmark interest rate by 0.25 percentage points to 2%, its lowest level in three years.
Thousands of poppies are to be planted across Swansea and will come into flower this summer to mark the 100th anniversary of World War One.
The last communication received from a Malaysia Airlines plane suggest everything was normal on board minutes before it went missing over the South China Sea, Malaysian authorities say.
Two people have been arrested following the discovery of a missing man's body on a beach.
Allowing toll operators to increase charges by "any amount" could leave drivers exposed to "substantial" price rises, a campaign group has warned.