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Friday
Mar252011

Oxford English Dictionary Embraces Internet Slang

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(OXFORD, U.K.) -- OMG, the Oxford English Dictionary has announced its latest updates!

The authoritative reference book -- the final word on words -- has announced that it has updated its online edition with 1,900 revisions and adds from across the dictionary. New additions include such digitally-driven abbreviations such as OMG -- Internet shorthand for "Oh my God'" or "Oh my Gosh" -- LOL, "laughing out loud"; IMHO "in my humble opinion"; and BFF, "best friends forever."

One might be tempted to exclaim WTF? (And if you don't know what that stands for, you can look it up: it was included in the 2009 updates.)

"Technology has been one of the biggest drivers of new vocabulary for centuries," Jesse Sheidlower, editor at large for the O.E.D., told ABC News.

Popular culture, explained Sheidlower, is a major driver of new vocabulary. But the dictionary's editors insist they are hardly indiscriminate. Once a word makes it in, it is never removed even if it becomes antiquated -- the purpose of the O.E.D. is to exist as a comprehensive, living history of the language.

"If we really thought a word would vanish, we'd hold off [including it] for a while," said Sheidlower. "Year after year there are tons of new Internet terms -- slang or terms from text messaging -- that we may not use for more than a few months."

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