The OED has made a few dozen new additions to its online dictionary (the Oxford Dictionary Online), adding 65 words to the lexicon. Over at Salon, Prachi Gupta complains that the new list has “yet again legitimized 20-something narcissism”, while Time’s Katy Steinmetz observes that “Like it or not, these words are symbols of culture as we know it in 2013.” Some of the new words are clearly tech-related, like “Internet of Things”, “phablet” and “hackerspace”. And a few new acronyms made the cut, including “BYOD” (Bring Your Own Device), “LDR” (long distance relationship), “TL;DR” (Too long; didn’t read) and “FOMO” (Fear Of Missing Out). Of course, a few text messaging shortcuts are included, like “apols”, “grats” and “srsly”.
But, as the Salon article’s headline suggests, some of the new words might be helpful as people try to come up with the appropriate reaction to the Miley Cyrus “performance” during last weekend’s VMAs. If you are one of those who cares enough to rant about the former Disney star’s attempt to change her image (because, obviously, I don’t) you might want to consider just three of OED’s new words:
• twerk, v.: dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.
• derp, exclam. & n. (informal): (used as a substitute for) speech regarded as meaningless or stupid, or to comment on a foolish or stupid action.
• vom, v. & n. (informal): (be) sick; vomit.
This blog post has been added to the list of things I’ll reflect upon during the upcoming Jewish High Holy Days, a time for repentance and renewal when we consider what we’ve done in the previous year that we should stop doing in the future.
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Filed under: Culture