FOR THE WEEK OF AUG. 22, 2011
Dictionary update shows how English evolves to include woot, noob and upcycle
Look for any of the words mentioned or other examples of evolving language in news content.
Now see if you spot slang or inside jargon, perhaps quoted in a sports report or business article.
Discuss journalism's role in updating everyday language. What should reporters and editors consider when using informal or unfamiliar words?
You may need a new dictionary this new school year. About 400 words are added to one popular reference, the Oxford Concise English Dictionary, illustrating changes in everyday language. It's no shock that many technology-related words are among 12th edition newcomers. They include sexting, retweeting and cyberbullying, along with noob (properly spelled n00b) That shorthand for newbie is an unflattering term for a newcomer to a forum, game or trend.
Another fresh entry is woot (or w00t), an online way to say hooray. "The expression woot began in America, but was picked up very quickly by people in Britain as a result of the Internet breaking down international boundaries," says Angus Stevenson, editor of the dictionary. The book from Oxford University Press in England also adds updated definitions of familiar words. Thought a cougar was just an ornery wild cat? By now you probably know it's also "an older woman seeking a sexual relationship with a younger man."
Here's another: Textspeak is defined as any writing with lots of abbreviations, initials and emoticons, just as in text messages.
Editor says: "New words come into currency much more quickly as a result of the Internet as people see friends, or friends of friends, using new words and copy them." -- Angus Stevenson of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary
Upcycle means: "To recycle into something worth more that the original." -- From new dictionary
Denialist means: "A person who refuses to admit the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of scientific or historical evidence." -- From new dictionary
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