When a student of mine came up with a newspaper cutting describing the gyrations of twerking, I just put it away for later on, and my eyes fell on the word, “twerking”. Later while mulling over the newspaper cutting, I imagined the word to be related to some form of tweeting! Later when I retrieved the newspaper cutting, I was proved wrong in my assumptions, and came to know that twerking is a new word that has been added into the Oxford Dictionary, and that it refers to a form of dancing!
It is really astonishing how more and more words are getting added to the list of new words in the Oxford dictionary every year! The fact that these strange and new words are getting included in the dictionary means that they are widely used! If twerking per se tires you, literally, then perhaps you could go for a brief rest! A look at some of the new words will show how the virtual world has started making its presence felt in the form of new words being added to dictionaries.
In a virtual world of bitcoins and virtual farms, if being on Facebook tires you too much, then you might as well take a “digital detox”. The term has found its way into the dictionary, and it means staying away from from social networking sites. It has become the trend for everyone to have a smart phone and that too a phone that has a really good camera, used not to send photographs of mountains and rivers, but rather photographs of the self! In such cases, you send a “selfie” to your girlfriend. “Selfie”, yet another new entry in the Oxford dictionary refers to a pouty smart phone self-portrait! Many of our young friends would gladly miss a lecture rather than miss a live performance by Pee Cee, that is if she comes to town! ”Fomo” yet another entrant into the list of new words in the Oxford dictionary refers to the fear of missing out! One can say with a great degree of certainty that today, conformism among young students in schools is the result of fomo, they just don’t want to be left out of the trendiest things in life!
In a world that is still reeling from the aftershocks of recession, it makes good sense in a currency that is inflation proof, and then you have the word, “bitcoins”. Bitcoins refer to a virtual currency that is becoming quite popular among young people who use the internet a lot.Tecnopedia defines bitcoin as a digital crypto currency. So, then, if bitcoins become common usage in English, then surely Lol would be the accepted term for laughing out loudly! The Oxford Dictionaries Online, August 2013 states, “Technology remains a catalyst for emerging words and is reflected in the new entries including, Mooc, bitcoin, Internet of things, BYOD, and Hackerspace” (All of these words would have the red spelling error zigzags on your screen because your word processor has apparently not been updated!).
Fashion also plays an important role in our lives, and this includes their usage in languages. Two words from the fashion industry that have made their entry in the Oxford Dictionary are, double denim and geek chic, while from the linguistic world of gastronomy, we have, cake pops, blondies and guac! And if these words depress you, then try feeling Nordic noir so that you feel, “as right as rain”! And then when you are feeling lonely and want company, albeit on line, then why don’t you join a hackerspace? It is a “place in which people with an interest in computing or technology can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment and knowledge”- Oxford Online Dictionary-August, 2013. When you find ideas that match and friends who gel with you then you ,”squee” with excitement!
Enough said of all the new words- I guess, we need to take a look of all the words that have been added to the dictionary, and perhaps think about phasing out our older dictionaries for one that can be bought with bitcoins, and at least prevents us from feeling embarrassed in the company of nerds!