by LUCE ORMONDE
I wonder what my ancestors would say if they knew the word ‘sexting’ – used to describe the act of suggestive messages via text – had been added to the dictionary.
I wonder how they’d react if they knew F-Bomb – that word we use in the place of the actual F-Word – had also been printed on the pages of the English language’s most important book. So it’s here to stay. Forever.
It seems like there’s no such thing as made-up words anymore. These days, if you use a silly word for long enough, there’s a good chance it will become the real deal (just like the aforementioned ‘sexting’ and ‘F-Bomb’. We’re hanging out for ‘birthzilla‘ but that’s a whole other story…)
The Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary adds 100 new additions to its pages every year. This year, they’ve included the words ‘aha moment,’ ‘energy drink,’ ‘life coach,’ ‘e-reader’ and ‘man cave’ to the expanding list of words.
Popular phrases such as “man cave,” “bucket list” and “game changer” are among the new entries in the 2012 update of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, according to a list released by the company on Tuesday.
“Sexting” – the sending of sexually explicit messages or images by cell phone – and “f-bomb” – the printable euphemism for a four-letter curse word – also made the list.
Merriam-Webster said the list offers a revealing look at U.S. culture and the colorful language English speakers adopt to describe it.
The term “underwater” reflects the familiar struggles of homeowners who owe more on their mortgage loan than their properties are worth, while the lighter “aha moment” gives a nod to media mogul Oprah Winfrey’s signature phrase describing a flash of sudden realization.
“Some of the new words this year provide colorful images,” Merriam-Webster Editor at Large Peter Sokolowski said in a statement. “They show that English-speakers can be very creative as they describe the world around them.”
It got me thinking, not just about new words but old ones too. And which ones you wish had never made it to the dictionary (the word ‘moist’ bothers far more people than it pleases, why don’t we just agree to rip that page of the dictionary out, hey?)
Over to you. What words would you add to the dictionary if you had the chance? Or better still, what words would you take out?