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Welcome To New Speak

May 23, 2014
by Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

One of the biggest news stories of the past week was the announcement of new words being added to the Miriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, THE?source for words used in our society. (Basically, if your word isn't in the dictionary, you haven't made it just yet).

Anyhow, the following news release came across my desk the other day, and it explains what all the hub-bub in the world of words is all about. Take a read, and see just how many of these words have actually been in your vocabulary prior to their official adoption.

(REUTERS) "Selfie," "tweep" and "turducken" were among more than 150 new words and definitions added to the 2014 updated "Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary," the publishing company said.

The additions to the U.S. dictionary reflect the growing influence of technology and social networking, the company said.

"So many of these new words show the impact of online connectivity to our lives and livelihoods," Peter Sokolowski, an editor for Merriam-Webster said in a statement. "Tweep, selfie, and hashtag refer to the ways we communicate and share as individuals. Words like crowdfunding, gamification, and big data show that the Internet has changed business in profound ways."

One new entry is "steampunk," defined as "science fiction dealing with 19th-century societies dominated by historical or imagined steam-powered technology."

And the word catfish takes on an added definition, referring to a person who sets up a false social networking profile for deceptive purposes.

New culinary terms include pho, "a soup made of beef or chicken broth and rice noodles," and turducken, "a boneless chicken stuffed into a boneless duck stuffed into a boneless turkey."

Other notable additions include Yooper, a nickname used for a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

"Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary," a unit of Encyclopedia Britannica Inc, has approximately 165,000 entries and 225,000 definitions.

Among the new entries included this year:

selfie an image of oneself taken by oneself using a digital camera esp. for posting on social networks.

tweep a person who uses the Twitter online message service to send and receive tweets.

gamification the process of adding game or gamelike elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.

hashtag a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that clarifies or categorizes the accompanying text, such as a tweet.

"These are words our editors have decided to put in based on usage in the English language," said Merriam-Webster spokeswoman Meghan Lunghi. "They look for widespread, sustained usage and when they think the usage merits it, they include it."

OK then, so if those are words worthy of addition to the dictionary, then how about a few more suggestions. I'm sure you've heard some of these gems over time locally, and it the folks from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (Yoopers) can have their own designation, well, anything is possible...

How about, "Yatta" - a contraction of the suggestion, you ought to.

Another favorite: "Quickaminute" - a reasonably self-explanatory contraction of the phrase, Quickly, in the next minute.

Those are just a couple of ideas of words which, even though they are probably considered regional in nature, still deserve a consideration for inclusion into the next issue of the Collegiate Dictionary - at least in my opinion.

But then again, my opinion and a dollar can buy you a copy of the very newspaper you're reading right now - A win-win all the way around!



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