Eerie Meaning Behind New Dictionary Words have Book Geeks Everywhere Wincing

By Allison Boccamazzo November 13, 2012

If you love literature, then you’re bound to love the dictionary (pun intended). It’s the oldest, thickest book of them all that allows writers and readers alike to channel their inner genius, but now, I’m calling all book geeks to unite. If only we could tap the tips of our pencils in some magical form to create a blinding protective barrier around the preposterous words that have been infiltrating the beloved, age-old pages of our favorite book, we could rest assured.

Unfortunately, the most ironic thing about this is that ten years ago, some of these words would have made absolutely no sense. In short, the dictionary is being filled to the brim with modernized expressions that all point to one pretty disturbing thing: We are officially overtaken by technology.

Last summer, the word ‘tweet’ made the cut as Merriam-Webster’s newest addition. Even worse is that until then, its newest inclusions consisted of popular AIM abbreviations uttered by tweens everywhere such as “LOL,” “OMG” and yes, “bling-bling.” According to a report at the time, the word secured its spot because it reflected high-tech advances as well as the “delicate nuances of family and social relationships,” as explained by a related article.

While social media and smartphones are at the forefront of everybody’s mind today, that doesn’t necessarily qualify words such as “YOLO” to be in the dictionary. It’s currently being debated where the wildly popular acronym ,“You Only Live Once,” originated from, but one thing’s for sure – it created an absolute culture shock.


Image via Shutterstock

During the summer of 2012, it was also reported that Collins, a leading British dictionary publisher, had been considering new wordplay to stay afloat and ahead in the ever-evolving world of the English language. The only problem is that by considering top choices based off of such things as pop culture, science and technology, the dictionary could become more sensationalized rather than steadfast. 

Alex Brown, head of digital at Collins, explained that “by allowing the public to truly participate, we’re ensuring that we stay on top.” Is allowing the public to submit words they deem “appropriate” the best idea, though?

The dictionary’s latest efforts in staying technologically tasteful, however, are speaking volumes toward a more eerie observation; our absolutely unhealthy dependency of it. The Oxford Dictionary today announced that its new Word of the Year for 2012 is “omnishables,” meaning “a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations.”

It’s another word that slipped in, however, that has some concerned.

Included in the U.S. shortlist of words is nomophobia – or the anxiety caused by being without one’s mobile phone. How telling are these inclusions of the world’s current stance on technology is relative to the individual, but it seems that we’re all knee deep in quicksand here.




Edited by Brooke Neuman

TechZone360 Web Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Reports of the Death of the Deskphone are Premature; Allworx Says We're on the Verge of a Deskphone Revolution

By: Erik Linask    1/19/2017

We've heard commentary about the death of the deskphone for several years now. Yet, if you look on most corporate desktops, you'll still find one. The…

Read More

Microsoft Makes AI Moves in Montreal

By: Alicia Young    1/19/2017

Recently, Microsoft has shown a growing interest in Montreal's booming artificial intelligence (AI) presence. This has spurred a series of acquisition…

Read More

What to Do About Netflix Shares

By: Steve Anderson    1/19/2017

Netflix has destroyed all estimates about its share prices, but how should investors respond?

Read More

The End of Work as We Know It: 6 Big Predictions for 2017

By: Farrell Hough    1/19/2017

The future of work in 2017 and beyond will center on using increasingly capable technologies to improve our productivity to the point where we can foc…

Read More

Achieving a Coveted Management Position in the Tech Industry

By: Lindsey Patterson    1/18/2017

If you want to be competitive in the job market for management in the tech industry, ask yourself the following three questions: What am I actually go…

Read More