OMG! Online Abbreviations Make OED

heart

The Oxford-English Dictionary just added 45,436 new phrases as words, and among them is the first symbol to ever grace the volume, ‘♥.’

The tome that often sets the English language apparently likes to stay current, adding words every three months. Some frequent online acronyms are also now approved by The Authority, giving instant relief to word nazis during instant message conversations all across the world. Phrases like FYI, OMG and LOL? They’re totally legit now.

Other Internet-inspired expressions given the stamp of approval include IMHO, “in my humble opinion”; and BFF, “best friends forever.” The dictionary says that although the terms are associated with modern electronic communications, some are surprisingly old. The first confirmed use of “OMG” was in 1917.

So, why add ♥ as a word? A spokesperson clarified, “While symbols do become spelt-out words relatively frequently, it is usually only with a mundane meaning as the name of the symbol… It’s very unusual for it to happen in such an evocative and tangential way.”

There is also some new, not-quite-as-fun words getting some recognition in the dictionary. The other ones include ‘muffin top,’ ‘singledom’ (something usually noticed on Valentine’s day), ‘banh mi’ (a Vietnamese sandwich), ‘flat white’ (a type of milky coffee) and ‘dotbomb’ (see the late 90s for reference).

AP, Time Magazine

Read more: http://techland.time.com/2011/03/25/the-oxford-english-dictionary-adds-3-and-lol-as-words/#ixzz1HdOCMxLJ

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