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Oxford Dictionaries will help you explain Miley Cyrus to your mom
TL;DR, emoji, selfie, bitcoin, and derp make the cut in the quarterly update.
Don’t freak out. It’s just the online dictionary. It catalogs what we tweet, not what we write in an honors English thesis.
“Research by the Oxford Dictionaries team shows that these terms have been absorbed by popular culture, hence their inclusion in the latest ODO update,” Oxford Dictionary Press said in a TL;DR blog post. The company also publishes the Oxford English Dictionary, but these words will only appear on the Web (for now).
Some of the definitions mentioned in the post are are concerned with fashion and food, though most come from the Internet. Here are a few of the new ODO definitions:
- derp: speech regarded as meaningless or stupid, or to comment on a foolish or stupid action”;
- TL;DR: ‘too long didn’t read’: used as a dismissive response to a lengthy online post, or to introduce a summary of a lengthy post;
- FOMO: fear of missing out: anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website;
- twerk: dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance;
- unlike: withdraw one’s liking or approval of (a web page or posting on a social media website that one has previously liked).
The Oxford English Dictionary typically demands words or new definitions are in widespread use for a decade before they’re added to the print dictionary. That policy doesn’t really work when new terms can take off within minutes online. It bent the rules a little to add “tweet,” “crowdsourcing,” and “e-reader” in June, however.
Based in Montreal, Kris Holt has been writing about technology and web culture since 2010. He writes for Engadget and Tech News World, and his byline has also appeared in Paste, Salon, International Business Times, Mashable, and elsewhere.