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back to article Selfie twerks its way into the dictionary

Our beloved and accommodating mother tongue is officially a few words richer with the announcement that the Oxford Dictionaries Online, from the chaps who bring us the Oxford English Dictionary, has gathered "selfie" and "twerk" into its lexicographical embrace. Our net-savvy readers will need no introduction to selfie, which is …

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Language mutates.

Deal with it, or find another place to live.

Good luck with the second option.

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Fad language

Here today, gone tomorrow.

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Headmaster

Re: Language mutates.

I'm still struggling with the notion that the word "text" is now a verb.

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Happy

verb, schmerb

one of the joys of English - something fundamental to it's core, and honed by centuries of nicking words from other peoples languages - is the ambiguity of parts of speech.

The second SMS content became called "a text", it was axiomatic that the act of preparing/sending one would be "to text".

Any noun can be a verb, if you stick "to" before it. Try it sometime. Especially with foreigners ....

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Re: verb, schmerb

Verbing weirds language.

(c) Calvin and Hobbes

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Re: Fad language

New words in languages are surely similar to mutations in species. Most of them don't take because they are not useful enough. A small percentage will remain in usage and in time older words become extinct. Today's fads will mostly die out relatively quickly as they often relate to a specific context (e.g. "twerk" will presumably only last as long as that specific dance move). But some will remain; "waltzing" is still widely known as a word for example.

"omnishambles" gets my vote. Unlike "twerk" you can make a reasonable stab at the meaning even without context. And the similar "snafu" has survived for decades.

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Anonymous Coward

"New selfie trend"

The old selfie trend tending to have a lot more to do with "pouting" than "pouty".

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Selfie, Girl Crush, Twerk

Selfie, Girl Crush, Twerk : Are anyone of these "words" used by anyone over the age of 11 ?

I would have thought that Selfie was a synonym for masturbation....

I must be getting old, i don't know anyone of the words that were listed. I don't do Facebook , Twitter or post teenage photos of myself on the web either, so maybe it is normal that I do not know them....

The OED must be struggling for something to do..

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Childcatcher

Re: Selfie, Girl Crush, Twerk

Are anyone of these "words" used by anyone over the age of 11 ?

Just turn on CNN/MSNBC/FOX, or any other talk or reality show from North America and these words cover 90% of the topics and vocabulary. Your statement should include the phrase "..over the mental age of 11.."

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Re: Selfie, Girl Crush, Twerk

That's 11 in binary?

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Re: Selfie, Girl Crush, Twerk

When I was a teenager, there wasn't a web to post teenage photos on. Kids nowadays eh?

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Coat

Re: Selfie, Girl Crush, Twerk

Just turn on CNN/MSNBC/FOX, or any other talk or reality show from North America and these words cover 90% of the topics and vocabulary. Your statement should include the phrase "..over the mental age of 11.."

The Americans are excused, they don't speak English anyway, they speak "Ameracun" or "mericun" which is more of an "effort at vocalisation" than a full blown spoken language.....

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Re: Selfie, Girl Crush, Twerk

"The Americans are excused, they don't speak English anyway, they speak "Ameracun" or "mericun" which is more of an "effort at vocalisation" than a full blown spoken language....."

But let's be fair, the average UKer's grasp of English is little more than a drunken grunting these days.

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Re: Selfie, Girl Crush, Twerk

I suppose the thing to remember is that 11 year olds will one day be in their 40s and 50s and may well still use words like this, if not actually partake of the practices. (Let's hope . . . )

I mean, it might be cliched but who hasn't heard a grandparent (or parent, age depending) refer to something as 'hip'. It might evoke images of Grandpa Simpson but my own grandmother has said that in reference to some young people.

The word 'hip' would have at some stage seemed very made up and confined to young people who didn't use proper English, but those young people grew up and the word stayed with them, even though it was superseded by new words that the next generation of young people coined.

When it comes down to it, by the time Miley Cyrus is 70 and her grandchildren are (hopefully) good-naturedly humouring her when she tells them how she caused quite a stir in her day 'twerking', those grandchildren will have their own words for a whole host of things and Miley may be wondering how those can even be considered words.

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Re: Selfie, Girl Crush, Twerk

But let's be fair, the average UKer's grasp of English is little more than a drunken grunting these days.

Effectively, certain cities almost require a full time translator.....London EastEnders, Geordies, Brummies, the Scots ( and I am a Scot) and that's before they have a drink in them.....

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Re: Selfie, Girl Crush, Twerk

> Selfie, Girl Crush, Twerk : Are anyone of these "words" used by anyone over the age of 11 ?

I've only heard the former in context. I learnt of the latter at work, when a colleague was struggllng to describe a rather technical problem in terms other than "doesn't work". Later, I thought that asking my team "what are these twerks he had twelve of?" [IGMC, obv] might be funny ... and was promptly directed to Urban Dictionary for a schooling!

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Re: Selfie, Girl Crush, Twerk

I suppose the thing to remember is that 11 year olds will one day be in their 40s and 50s and may well still use words like this, if not actually partake of the practices. (Let's hope . . . )

OMFG! What are you like... The mental image of all them grandparents/parents 'twerking' at their offsprings weddings... think of the children, man.

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Unhappy

Re: they don't speak English anyway

Me no unnerstand

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These are all perfectly cromulent words

They embiggen the English language nicely thanks.

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Twerking

You mean twerking does not mean using twitter while you are supposed to be working?

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Happy

Re: Twerking

Only if a Twunt is doing it.

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Omnishambles

Why does this word cause Pete Doherty to leap to mind?

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This post has been deleted by its author

MTV!

So *that's* what it stands for!!!

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Dr?

Ons small problem.

This article and the one over at the Auntie are in fact wrong. A quick check on the OED website shows that the last update was back in June and although it includes "headfuck" and "smeg", it does not include "twerk" or "selfie". Anyone with a UK library card can log on and do a quick search to confirm this.

Both articles are mixing up OED with Oxford Dictionaries Online.

Epic also had a revision in the June edition of the OED. Fitting, as this article is an epic fail.

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Happy

Re: Ons small problem.

What's the word for when you point out someone else's error whilst making a glaring "ons" of your own?

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Dr?

Re: Ons small problem.

In the title too. Facepalm.

Reach for the edit!

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Dr?

Re: Ons small problem.

Swines! I can't do a crafty edit, but El Reg can.

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: Ons small problem.

Yes, just ons more epic fail from El Reg.

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: Re: Ons small problem.

No chance. Ons has brought it on onsself.

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Dr?

Re: Ons small problem.

It's ons rule for them...

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Re: Ons small problem. @Dr?

>Swines! I can't do a crafty edit, but El Reg can.

You can always delete your post, at least no-ons's mentioned your id.

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Coat

@Growler

Inevitable ?

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Literal (n): metaphorical

Since the OE seems to have accepted the above, and the GCSE examination boards have decided to award points for spelling and grammar (not removing points for the lack of them), one thing is clear:

The redundancy of written and spoken English is decreasing. (The same is probably happening in other languages but English seems to lead the field, and has a lower redundancy than more structured languages which still maintain case and gender - though I have no first-hand knowledge of this.)

Which means that the chance of miscommunication is proportionally increasing. *You* might know what you meant, but if you cannot express that meaning, you are not communicating, merely grunting.

People speak.

Animals grunt.

Welcome to the menagerie.

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JDX
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Re: Literal (n): metaphorical

If there is less redundancy doesn't that mean less ways to say the same thing which implies the language is easier to learn?

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Anonymous Coward

"The OED's Katherine Connor Martin explained that people in the hip-hop scene have been twerking for the past two decades, and that the term had by last year "generated enough currency to be added to our new words watch list".

She continued: "By this spring, we had enough evidence of usage frequency in a breadth of sources to consider adding it to our dictionaries of current English.""

I've never heard anyone ever say twerking. I've always liked hip-hop, dance and break since the late 80's early 90's and twerking has never come up. I'd suggest that the disease of social networking is to blame for the rapid rise in the nonsense language as kids try to be individual and identify themselves. It's nothing new, each generation goes through the same thing, influenced by that generations zietgiest.

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JDX
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And each generation ends up sounding like sad old crusties when they come out with stuff like:

" I'd suggest that the disease of social networking is to blame for the rapid rise in the nonsense language as kids try to be individual and identify themselves."

(not picking on you just making a point)

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Isn't this the same outfit that gave us Quidditch a few years back?

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That is to say in the OED, and not is some fantasy realm of pre-pubesent Children mucking 'round, wile they went off to some posh Boarding School..

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Anonymous Coward

> performed by someone called Miley Cyrus on "MTV", although quite what she was doing atop a Munitions Transport Vehicle is anyone's guess

Makes sense to me; she's unstable, somewhat toxic, should only be handled by trained personnel and needs to be safely disposed of.

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Let's campaign for the removal of words such as...

... governance and all that stuff used by 'consultants'. 'Don't look at me when I'm lying to the client' - a 'consultant' for a well known accountancy firm said that to me before a meeting.

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Trollface

Miley (n.)

A young woman who is sexier before she's supposed to be than she is when she is.

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Words like this will get forgotten

I was told about this by a young girl in the office.... being a man of the world I already knew what they meant.... I in turn picked a random word from the early 90s. I asked her what the word todger meant.... She did not know. I advised that she look it up and I now have an email from HR requesting a meeting this afternoon. Maybe they don't know what it means either.

A quick office poll of the sub 25 year olds proved that no one knows what todger means, In 20 years time the same can be said for twerk.

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Re: Words like this will get forgotten

Maybe we can repurpose words that fall out of use. For example, a "todger" could now be a portmanteau of "tosser" and "codger" to describe the denizens of Hoxton that sport old mens beards and Edwardian attire.

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JDX
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Re: Words like this will get forgotten

or 'tosser' and 'lodger' for someone who plays loud music and leaves muddy shoes in the hallway

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Z80

I'm going to celebrate these additions by donning my jorts in a bit of double denim.

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Grateful girls

25 girls thanking the Oxford Dictionary Online for including the word 'selfie': http://www.avadenticals.org/categories/59.-duckface

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srsly? twerk? jorts? OMG! WTF!

I think the standards are way to low to allow these words into the dictionary, I can only imagine a future game of scrabble, that said notice how many of the words that are added in recent years barely make the 2 syllable range...

my kid has awful spelling and comprehension ( even for an American), despite trying to get it to read and such, apparently it is too hard to learn this, that said, it also gets massive hand pains from writing, and complains when it has to write more than a couple of paragraphs on a page.

though over here they still insist on pencils and only occasionally in ballpoint pen... finding a fountain pen is like finding a cricket bat!

I guess the movie Idiocrasy is going to slowly come true.

I hope 2 b ded by then! ;-)

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