Saturday, March 26, 2011

WTF? New Words?

The Oxford English Dictionary added some new words, phrases and symbols the other day. Does it seem to you like they just did this the other day? It felt that way to me. That's when I learned that they update the thing every three months. Really? Every three months? That seems a bit extreme to me, but they take this sort of thing fairly seriously over there.

Even though I knew that one particular addition was inevitable, I was not looking forward to it. Yes, that's right. LOL made it in. I guess in some ways, that's good. I mean, maybe now people won't think that it stands for 'lots of love' and text inappropriate condolences. (Example: "I heard your mom died. I'm so sorry. LOL!") I've just never been a big LOL fan. I think that's because I never believe that people are actually L-ing OL when they write that. Something has to be pretty danged funny for me to be vocal with my amusement and I feel that it's that way for the majority of other folks as well. But I'm pretty sure that CQTM (Chuckling Quietly To Myself) isn't going to catch on anytime soon.)

They also have added OMG (Oh, my God), BFF (Best Friends Forever) and IMHO (In My Humble Opinion). But for some reason, they have yet to add WTF. That HAS to be in there eventually, right? I checked the Oxford Dictionary Online to see if there was a definition for the F-word. Not only was it defined, it was quite thorough. I was pleased. Thus, I'm guessing that WTF can't be far behind. If you're going to have IMHO in the dictionary, you have to have WTF. Not that I'm the measuring stick for any of this stuff, but I don't think that I have ever used IMHO. WTF, on the other hand, is a daily staple.

But what really surprised me wasn't all of the acronyms that they shoved in there. (They also included the heart symbol. As in "I Heart New York". It means you love something. I'm not thrilled with the thought of the dictionary turning into some sort of hipster rebus.) It was all of the words that made it in that, astonishingly, weren't in there already. I'm perfectly OK with them adding things like "fnarr fnarr" (used to represent sniggering, typically at a sexual innuendo), "kleftiko" (appears to be some sort of lamb dish), "rozzle" (some sort of slang that either means hugging, joking around, or thinking someone is hot) and "yidaki", which I think is a type of didgeridoo. (No word on whether didgeridoo was already in there or not.) Those are words I've never heard of and if they're going to make them official words, that's fine. But what about "rude"? Wait. What?

"Rude". They added "rude". According to the page where the updates are, "rude, n.1" was added to the Oxford English Dictionary. They didn't have that in there before? It appears that they're defining it this time as a noun, so maybe that's the difference? Words that I would have thought would have already been in the dictionary include "router, n.6", "la-la land, n.", "dotted line, n. and adj.", "biker, n.", "car crash, n.", "headline, v.", "rototill, v.", "taquito, n.", and "stonewash, n., v.".

Car crash? Cars have been crashing since the invention of the car and they're just now getting around to putting it in the dictionary? And biker? Really? That wasn't in there before now? Amazing. How did stonewash elude the pages of the OED for so long? Where were these people in early 1990s? I don't get it. I thought they would have been a little more on top of things.

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Car crash" doesn't just mean two vehicles colliding. It can mean any event that is horrific (and usually has the extra morbid sense of suggestion that it is somewhat compelling to watch).

You might have heard "Car crash TV" and there's lots of other examples out there. A sporting event that didn't go someone's way, a very public lover's tiff, or spelling bee spazz-out could be described using this term. There's also some overlap with "train wreck" in this sense.

BTW!! Actual LOL at "sorry to hear your mom died LOL!"

Mare said...

Hi, Anonymous.

Interesting usage of the term "car crash". I didn't know that was the way that it was being defined. And it does seem to overlap with "train wreck" in that sense. I would have thought that "train wreck" could just pick up the slack in that area, but I guess not.

Thanks for reading!

~ Mary

Anonymous said...

I love this way of describing things, very upfront. You can almost imagine the way someone might wince or look through their fingers to avoid, but not quite avoid, seeing. I think it perfectly describes the way some of us might watch Jersey Shore haha

Mare said...

Hi, Anonymous.

It absolutely would be a very handy method for watching Jersey Shore! An excellent observation!

~ Mary