Category: in the news

New Words!

The world’s greatest (this may be a biased opinion) dictionary, the Oxford English Dictionary, just added some new words and I could not be happier. The UWM English Department taught us to love and respect the OED.  When we were supposed to find the origins of words, we did not go just anywhere… we checked the OED. I thought it was sad that my subscription ended when I was no longer in school, but I found ways around that.

The OED (and any dictionary, really) is always adding new words and often no one (but weird English majors) bothers to pay attention. This time, people are paying attention. The Huffington Post had a great article  about the new words being added and even more interesting are the comments on the article.

People HATE new words and they hate their inclusion into the dictionary even more. I will always find that amusing because people use new/slang/improper words every day but they still maintain that these “fads” are ruining the English language. If it weren’t for fads, we would all be speaking Old English.

One of the best complaint comments was about how someone in the future will look back on our society and see that we included “sexting” in the dictionary and they will have a “WTF” reaction. If you don’t see how that’s ironic, I’m not sure there’s hope for you. Also recently included in the OED are internet acronyms like “LOL” and “OMG.” I love English.

Three (of the 400) new words added to the Concise Oxford Dictionary (which I use all the time because it’s amazing):

Retweet
verb: (on the social networking service Twitter) repost or forward (a message posted by another user)

Sexting
noun: the sending of sexually explicit photographs or messages via mobile phone

Cyberbullying
noun: the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.

According to The Telegraph, “the new words were selected after being entered into a database of 2 billion words drawn from contemporary websites and texts to prove their ubiquity”.

The dictionary’s editor Angus Stevenson told Channel 4 News that “new words often reflect the era in which they were added to the dictionary,” and commented on the impact that social media and the Internet have had on language.

It’s worth noting that the term “retweet” was not widely used until 2008 (two years after Twitter was founded), when users began prepending their messages with “RT @username”. Now with more than 175 million users, Twitter terminology has become common language, and the Oxford University Press undoubtedly agrees.

Other new words added to the Concise Oxford Dictionary include “woot” (used to express enthusiasm in online communication) and “kinematograph” (an early film projector).

THIS JUST IN: OED *removes* words to make room for new ones! I love it. Discuss.

Blessed

Sometimes I shock myself with the amount of compassion I can feel.  I know I’m so blessed and maybe I’m just growing up and realizing how much I really have and how many people actually have nothing…  But lately I have such a heavy heart for people less fortunate than I am.

My family might be broken, but I can see a little neighbor girl’s family in pain and unraveling.  There’s nothing I can do for her (unless I suspect abuse, which I don’t yet) except pray.  I hear her cry many mornings when her mom screams at her to get her “f*cking boots on”.  Every morning this little girl has to go to school with tear stained cheeks, probably feeling alone and unloved.  I remember what it was like to have a parent on edge who yelled a lot.  Maybe that’s her situation, that will get better.  Maybe it will get worse.  I don’t know.  I don’t even know her name.  I know that I get teary when I think about her and hope someday I’ll be able to help her in a tangible way.

My finances might be in poor condition, but we are not poor.  We have so much.  This country has so much.  We wipe our asses with $5 bills and the people in Haiti live off $2 a day.  I am more upset that people have no compassion than I am for the Haitians.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m so sad for them.  I donated my $10 via the Red Cross and I think we will again – because really, $10 is the *very* least we can do.  What I cannot stand is when people get upset at celebrities for helping others.  So what if an actor chooses to donate their money to the cause of their choice?  What are YOU doing with your money?  No one can help everyone all the time.  I think it’s wonderful that people with a lot of money can help where they do, no matter their reasons.  Many US shelters are open because of donation, not because they are profitable.  I would like everyone whining about celebrity charities lacking National priorities (ie, they should be “fixing” US problems before aiding others) to reflect on who they have charitably donated to with their time and money.  If it’s no one, then maybe you should try living on $2 and see how you feel about poor countries then.

I might be unemployed, but I’m marketable.  This last year has been particularly rough on my family as there are several unemployed parents.  Parents with high level degrees, work experience and strong work history.  We all know they will find work again though.  There are those people though, who can’t hold down a job and who are struggling to feed their families and have no hope of working anytime soon.  I’m so grateful for my chance to be able to go to school and have a degree.  I’m so grateful for my working experiences.  They have given me opportunities for the career experience I need to get started in entry level writing jobs and they have given me excellent references.  I feel so sad for everyone who feels hopeless and like they are running out of options.  I could still become a career counselor I suppose… Again, there’s nothing I can really do for people except pray for them.  Which feels so trivial.  I want to donate all my time and money instead… and if I didn’t have a husband or need a job to pay growing bills, I might be able to do all three.