For the first time since 2009, Merriam-Webster has added new words to its Collegiate Dictionary
—150 words to be exact, including “tweet” and “social media.”
I know. I’m as tired as you are about hearing that another
dictionary has added another
set of words related to social media, providing further
evidence that social media is here to stay.
Had it not been for the italics, I may have nodded off writing that sentence.
Last week, PR Daily reported
that the Concise Oxford English Dictionary
added “sexting,” “retweet,” and other social media words to its roster. In June, the Oxford dictionaries added terms
like “Twittersphere” and “NSFW.” It also included initialisms such “LOL” and “OMG” in March. According to Mashable
, Collins English Dictionary
included “Twitter” as a noun and verb in 2009.
So what took Merriam-Webster so long? The editors were apparently waiting for these words to stabilize.
“From the dramatic events of the Arab Spring to the scandal that brought down Congressman Anthony Weiner, tweet is a word that has been part of the story," Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster's Editor at Large, said in a press release
. “We've been tracking words like social media and tweet for years, of course, and now we feel their meanings have stabilized enough to include them in the dictionary.”
Language traditionalists will likely argue that this is a measured, thoughtful move from the 150-year-old dictionary. I’d say it’s ‘bout time.