‘Tweet’ Becomes An Official Word; Lands In Oxford English Dictionary

Here is another example of social media’s impact on our lives. ‘Tweet’ no longer means only chirping of birds. The word tweet now has a second definition and is now an officially part of the English language. Tweet now also means “To make a posting on the social networking service Twitter. Also: to use Twitter regularly or habitually”, John Simpson, chief editor of the OED, announced the new addition in a June update. “The noun and verb tweet (in the social-networking sense) has just been added to the OED,” Simpson wrote.


The dictionary acknowledges that it is breaking its own rule that a word must be “current for ten years” before it can be included into the dictionary, by expanding the definition of “tweet.”  According to OED’s blog, “There has been, for example, a threefold increase in instances of the word tweet between 2006 and 2007 (when Twitter began), and by 2012, this had increased to 50 times.” However, oddly, the word “retweet”, or the act of reposting a message posted by another Twitter user, was added to the OED back in 2011. Editors did not give an explanation as to why retweet was added first.

The online version of the dictionary has new entries added to it by editors every three months. An increasing number of technology based words have made their ways into the dictionary in this quarter including words like “live-blogging,” crowdsourcing”, “big data”, “e-reader”, “stream” “re-direct”, “geekery”, “flash mob”, “mouseover”. More than 1,200 new or revised words were added in the latest version of the Oxford English Dictionary. Other words or phrases that have made the cut in the past include “OMG” and “LOL,” both of which were added to the dictionary in 2011.

You can check out more words here.

Image Courtesy |   allthingsd

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