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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Phablet, BYOD and the Internet of things have all entered the dictionary

Oxford University Press, the company behind the much-used Oxford English Dictionary, has added a collection of mobile technology related words to its free online service. The latest quarterly update to Oxford Dictionaries Online includes BYOD, digital detox, emoji, Internet of things, phablet and selfie (as well as the headline-grabbing twerking).

Angus Stevenson, head of dictionary projects at Oxford University Press, said “New words, senses, and phrases are added to Oxford Dictionaries Online when we have gathered enough independent evidence from a range of sources to be confident that they have widespread currency in English. Publishing online allows us to make the results of our research available more quickly than ever before. Each month, we add about 150 million words to our corpus database of English usage examples collected from sources around the world. We use this database to track and verify new and emerging words and senses on a daily basis. On average, we add approximately 1,000 new entries to Oxford Dictionaries Online every year, and this quarter’s update highlights some fascinating developments in the English language. Portmanteau words, or blends of words, such as phablet and jorts, remain popular, as do abbreviations, seen in new entries such as srsly and apols.”

However, traditionalists may be reassured to hear that inclusion in Oxford Dictionaries Online doesn’t guarantee a place in the next edition of the OED.

[OxfordWords blog]

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