SML 2 Tkeovr Oxfrd Eng Dict. – via StoneMeta Media

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Yes, social media language such as “retweet” and “follower” have made it into the world’s most respected English dictionary – Oxford English Dictionary. A month and half ago, Mashable reported that Concise Oxford English Dictionary approved and added 400 words into its collection, including “sexting, cyberbullying, woot, and retweet” on top of the “LOL” and “OMG” that have made it to its list of official English language on Oxford English Dictionary Online.

Here’s a couple for your amusement:

1. LOLint. and n.
…Originally and chiefly in the language of electronic communications: ‘ha ha!”; used to draw attention to a joke or humorous statement, or to express amusement…

2. Tweetn. and int.
…(trans) to utter in this way, to twitter, also trans…

3. Follower, n.
Someone who is tracking a particular person, group, or organization on a social networking site.

Now,  as a rhetorical thinker and passionate language scholar, I am thrilled to study the impact of such changes to today’s society: Would teachers ever allow these words in their students’ papers? What do the Associated Press and United Press International think about the use of these words in journalism? Could this be an argument of a paradigm switch due to media effects?

These questions will soon answer themselves. Yet, don’t forget that we are in a world of information, and with information comes power – and you know this is coming – with power, comes responsibility.

See other social media language here via StoneMeta Media: Social Media Language, Taking Over the Oxford Dictionary. Also read: A New Language Called Social Media is Here, Like it or Not via Social Media Today.


About Jason Tham

Jason Tham is a PhD student at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. His research interests are digital pedagogy, connectivism and connected learning, computers and writing, and visual rhetoric.
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