• OMG! LOL! and Cyberbullying are now official words in OED

    Date: 06.13.11 | by Judge Tom.

    Terms or words made popular online that have crossed over into everyday use are occasionally entered into the Oxford English Dictionary. The online edition of the OED was launched in 2000 and gets two million hits a month. It is updated every three months. Eventually, it may replace the printed edition that consists of 20 volumes.

    In addition to “Oh My God” and “Laughing Out Loud” is BFF (best friends forever), Muffin Top and the verb “heart” as in “I (heart) New York” or “boobies”. Not to mention that TMI (too much information) is now a legitimate expression.

    Also the word “meep” made the cut this year. Oxford recognized the Road Runner’s cartoon sound as an official word. Other new entries include “ego-surfing” (the practice of searching for yourself on the Internet) and “dot-bomb” (a failed Internet company).

    In the summer of 2011, three more common words were added to the OED: retweet, sexting and cyberbullying.

    For an interesting story about the development of the Oxford English Dictionary and it’s connection to a convicted murderer, take a look at “The Professor and the Madman” (Harper Perennial 2005) by Simon Winchester. We know it sounds boring, but it’s actually a story of W.C. Minor, a Civil War doctor, a murder, insanity and his contribution to this world-renowned set of books.

    By the way, did you know that OMG is not a recent expression. In a letter dated 1917 from John Fisher, a British Navy admiral, to Prime Minister Winston Churchill who was an officer in the British army at the time, he wrote in closing “I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the (table)–O.M.G. (Oh! My God!).”

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    3 Comments subscribe to these comments.

    • Sierra
      Thu, 16 Jun 2011 at 01:43

      I can’t wait to use the word “meep” in a sentence. If you can use it in a sentence? It would be interesting to find out what the “Looney” anemoniapia actually denotates. The Oxford English Dictionary never ceases to amaze in its evolution. Its strange to think the “TMI” is now an apprpriate phrase (or is it a word? Abbreviation? Sentence? Fragment?)in America. I wonder what the French think. They still have a kind of council of elders that preside over the linguistic features of French.
      Dear Sierra: In response to your first sentence, you just did. But, seriously, we look forward to seeing another sentence with more creativity.
      FYI, if you’re fascinated with the Oxford Dictionary, consider reading “The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary” by Simon Winchester (1999). It’s a true story and quite interesting. If you think other teens would enjoy it, you can write a brief review of it for our Great Reads section. All the best.

    • Oklahoma City Divorce Attorney Matt Ingham
      Sun, 26 Jun 2011 at 11:35

      Going back 5, 6, 7 years ago, those of us who understand that the English language is constantly evolving saw the writing on the wall…we knew that someday expressions like LOL and TMI would become ‘officially’ recognized. Glad to see that the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary are keeping up with the times.

    • Divorce Lawyers Tulsa
      Sun, 28 Aug 2011 at 03:21

      VIVA OED!!!

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