New words in English dictionaries – “Tweet” and “LOL”

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Languages are evolving – we learn new words, abandon others or lose some languages altogether. But then there is technology that provides us with new terms on a daily basis. Apple and Blackberry are not only fruits anymore but also multimillion dollar companies. These words took on entirely new meanings.

Today many tech start-ups search for catchy and interesting names. What did you think about Twitter when you first heard the word? Tweets, hashtags and followers now have significant meanings to Twitter users. We even make verbs out of company names, or haven’t you said “I have to Google that.” at least once?

Now, we use those words on a daily basis but have they found their way into our dictionaries yet? And would you want that? In 2011 quite a few technology-oriented terms have been added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Among them are the words social media, tweet and m-commerce. Even the Oxford Dictionaries Online have made additions to their list including twittersphere and retweet.

An editor of the Oxford English Dictionary described the changes to languages as follows: “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.”

But not only is the industry creating new words but people do, too. The Internet, and social networks in particular, changed the way we are communicating. Hence it is not a surprise that even “words” like LOL, FYI and OMG have made their appearance in proper dictionaries.

Some of the latest additions to English dictionaries were BitTorrent, subdomain and cloud computing. Which word would you like to have added to the dictionaries?

[Deutsch]

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