WTF!, Emoji, Meme & PhotoBomb Added To English Dictionary

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The internet is hell-bent on ruining the queen’s language and it seems to be winning its evil quest. In a move that may complicate your game of scrabble, the Merriam-Webster dictionary has included a catalogue of 1,700 new words to its annual additions. Through a blog post, Merriam-Webster said that some of the new words included were from the natural world, not-so-natural world, linguistics and beyond. The additions included words largely considered as internet slang key among these include  “emoji,” “meme,” “photobomb,” “NSFW”, “clickbait”and even “WTF.”

According to Merriam Webster, the process of adding new words involves their editors monitoring words people use most often and how they use them. The editors go through a cross section of published material that includes books, newspapers, magazines, and electronic publications in an activity known as “reading and marking.” They also check for new usage of the existing words, variants in spellings as well as the spellings.  Any word of interest is marked, along with surrounding context that offers insight into its form and use. They then enter it into their system as citation, along with examples of its use and source information.

In 2006, Google was added into the dictionary both as a verb and proper noun, representing the action of searching the web using the search engine as well as the company Google Inc. Thus far, several words that form part of the internet slang have found space in the dictionary including “Selfie”, “Vuvuzela” and “Tweeps” that were part of 1,900 words added last year.

Some of the words added this year have interesting definitions such as  “photobomb” means “to move into the frame of a photograph as it is being taken as a joke or prank.” “Meme”  means “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture”. Your game of Scrabble just got a whole easier or complicated.

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