The list of ridiculous Internet speak that the Oxford English Dictionary has officially recognized as real words has expanded once again this week to include retweet, woot and sexting.
The words will appear in the upcoming edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary, which was first published 100 years ago. According to Angus Stevenson in the Oxford University Press blog, the 12th edition of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary will contain a total of about 400 new words, including cyberbullying, domestic goddess, gastric band, sexting, slow food, and textspeak.
The additions bring the dictionary’s word count to more than 240,000 words. As Stevenson explains, the publishers of Oxford Dictionary have a long history of including slang and other unconventional words.
“The editors of the first edition, brothers Henry and Frank Fowler, stated that ‘we admit colloquial, facetious, slang, and vulgar expressions with freedom, merely attaching a cautionary label’,” writes Stevenson. “Among the slang words they included were flapper, ‘girl not yet out [in society]’, foozle, ‘do clumsily, bungle, make a mess of’, mag, ‘halfpenny’, piffle, ‘talk or act feebly, trifle’, and potty, ‘trivial, small’.
“Sadly, the new edition has no room for tremendous words like brabble ‘paltry noisy quarrel’ and growlery ‘place to growl in, private room, den’ – what we might call a man cave these days. But the preoccupations of today’s Generation Y have opened the door to some equally colourful vocabulary – how about momo, noob, nurdle, and woot?”
Retweet, woot and sexting were actually added to the Oxford Dictionaries Online all the way back in February. Their inclusion in the Concise Oxford English Dictionary will be the first time these terms appear in a printed tome.
The additions of retweet and sexting follow the adoption of a variety of other web-related terms to the Oxford-endorsed lexicon. Those terms include OMG, LOL, NSFW, Twittersphere, infographic, unfollow and newb.