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New terms added to the dictionary

With the extensive use of mobile messaging and emailing, certain new words have become an integral part of our life, although they made no sense during the colloquial period. Therefore, the Oxford English Dictionary, which is considered as the “accepted authority on the evolution of the English language over the last millennium” has happily incorporated several new words in its dictionary, which are now more relevant to our daily life.

Some of the new words that has been incorporated in the latest edition of the OED are “Catastrophizing”, that means viewing or presenting a situation as worse as it actually is. “LBD” is yet another word which probably makes no meaning for an ordinary person, but the girls would be happy to know that they need not spell the “Little Black Dress” anymore. “Frenemy” is a common word that was not incorporated so far, but now it is. “Cool hunter” refers to a person, who makes observations or predictions about new trends and styles. “Bromance” refers to a close but non sexual relationship between two men. “Defriend” is a term that is widely used by the netizens. It means deleting a person the one’s friend list. “Soft skills” is a new virtue of the technology industry, where someone is allowed to interact with another person at a professional level more harmoniously and effectively. “Overthink” means pondering over something for too long. “Chillax” is yet another word, that is generally used widely by the new generation. It signifies Chill and Relax together. The OED also incorporated the word “Netbook” in its pages.

FYI: English language keeps evolving!

The folks over at the Oxford English Dictionary published their latest updates to the OED today, revising and adding to a language which already contains more than 600,000 recorded words.
Among the new inductees are some real corkers. Several modern day initialisms – abbreviations consisting of the initial letters of a name or expression – such as OMG (oh my God), LOL (laughing out loud), FYI (for your information), TMI (too much information), IMHO (in my humble opinion) and BFF (best friends forever) have been formally included for the first time. It also includes IMAO (laugh my ass off), TGNOCMROTT (thank god no one caught me running over that teenager) and IHHDGMAVD (I hope he didn’t give me a venereal disease).

The Oxford Dictionary’s annual induction of new words to the dictionary has yet again sparked controversy amongst the literary community. A number of highly contentious words have been accepted into the English lexicon much to the disgust of leading etymologists.

Some of these initialisms have been in existence for longer than you might think. OED research shows that OMG was first used in 1917, FYI dates back to 1941 and LOL started out in 1960 as an abbreviation of "little old lady". 
Other food-related additions reflect a world of different cultures which is now more accessible than ever. Hence banh mi (a Vietnamese baguette-style sandwich), kleftiko (a Greek dish of slow-cooked lamb) and flat white (an Australian form of coffee in which foamed milk is poured over an espresso) are now officially recorded by the OED.

Then there are new terms relating to the world of business. So a dot-bomb is a failed internet company, while a dotted line describes an indirect reporting relationship.
And, as always, recently popularised figures of speech and slang expressions continue to be incorporated into our ever-evolving language. Among those we have the wonderfully descriptive muffin top (a protuberance of flesh above the waistband of a pair of trousers), on the lash (engaged in a bout of drinking), cream-crackered (knackered, as in exhausted), fnarr fnarr (a lecherous snigger, for which we can blame Viz) and smack talk (boastful or insulting banter).

Is this influx of new words – some of which will pass out of fashion as quickly as they entered the common lexicon – a good thing? Of course it is. English is universally considered to be the richest spoken language in terms of number of words. That multiplicity of words allows us to separate fine nuances, and to provide clear, evocative descriptions of the world around us. Is that woman’s dress simply red, or is it crimson, burgundy, scarlet, blood-red, claret or perhaps even damask? And aren’t dot-bomb and muffin top wonderfully vivid yet economical descriptions?

When Shakespeare couldn't find the right word for something, he just made one up!

Indeed, such is the pace at which our inter-connected world changes, that it should be no surprise that our language continues to evolve with similar alacrity. New words and expressions should be cherished not cursed.
"If new words be the food of language, play on."

2 comentarios:

  1. While many new words enter the language each year, many (though fewer) fall out of favor, never to be heard/seen again. There are economic considerations that argue against attempting to include immediately every new word that comes along. The cost of paper and ink is not the issue. These costs are far outweighed by the expense of researching a word. It's hardly adequate to add a word and say "Here's how it was used in the sit-com that aired last night." (And being used in a sit-com already implies some degree of acceptance. How about "All the seniors at the X High School use it." as a justification for it's being a legitimate word?) People need to research the origins of the word. Where is it used? By only some portions of the population? What other meanings might it have? When did it first appear in print? The people that do this research may need to be paid. Even if the research can be done for free, it takes time.

    There are roughly half a million entries in the OED. If they were to come out with a new edition (to replace last year's edition) that included, say, 10,000 new entries (0.2% change) would you rush out to buy it? (Especially if you knew that it will be replaced, in turn, next year because another 10,000 words have been added during this year.)

  2. El mismo fenómeno se produce en la mayoría de las lenguas. El idioma evoluciona día a día, segundo a segundo, y refleja la forma en que la sociedad se expresa.

    El inglés no tiene una academia que preserve o controle el uso del idioma. Muchos consideran al OED (Oxford English Dictionary) "palabra mayor".

    Quizás a los más puristas del lenguaje les cueste aceptar la llegada de nuevos términos, pero debemos ser conscientes de no ser arbitrarios exclusivamente de lo correcto, sino de documentar el uso actual, con cambios, jergas, palabras extranjeras, etc.

    Es una cuestión interesante: con bandos a favor y en contra. Por su parte, el idioma siempre seguirá evolucionando.