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OMG in the OED? LOL!

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Editorial cartoon by Anthony Juarez

At the end of last month, the Oxford English Dictionary released their newest revision filled with word descriptions.

But if Noah Webster were to look at the list, it would be enough for him to turn over in his grave.

The new list is loaded with acronyms, figures of speech and slang, some of which are not even labeled under a slang category.

Words as calligram, ambigram and taquito graced the new list, which did not come with much uproar or debate.

Yet, some of the words featured certainly, reflect the stereotype of an illiterate and ignorant American.

Those that reflected the archetypal American include muffin top, five-second rule, LOL, BFF, OMG, TMI and <3, the emoticon symbol for a heart.

“You have to show that the word has been in usage for a decent length of time and, most importantly, that the word is used and understood by a wide audience,” Graeme Diamond, chief editor of new words for Oxford, said.

We understand Oxford wants to decode the English language since it has been taken over by instant messaging, texting and social networking.

But stooping down to the level of including text message abbreviations is going way too far.

By oversimplifying the language, what was once a distinction between slang and proper English is slowly diminishing.

The embrace of the jargon of the Internet by Oxford is affirming that the English language is changeable.

William Shake­speare almost single-handedly made English into what it is today.

Someone as brilliant as this playwright makes the contributions he made understandable.

However, with ‘wassup’ being added to the Oxford English Dictionary it hardly sounds like a change in the right direction.

Last year in a tweet, Sarah Palin mistakingly combined the words ‘refute’ and ‘repudiate’ thus creating the word ‘refudiate’.

“English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too,” Palin said in defense for her fumble.

By mashing together two words that mean the same thing does not make a new word; nor, does it mean that the Oxford English Dictionary should add it.

Thus, how is it that a prestigious dictionary can add made up words and abbreviations?

Adding the words to the dictionary creates the notion that the creators of Oxford did not have concrete definitions for any of our spoken words.

Some phrases that used to be featured only in teenage conversations are now able to be found in a dictionary.

Future generations are going to pick up their first dictionary and get excited over learning new words.

Soon people will not only be writing “LOL” but saying it in daily conversation.

In a past Cingular commercial, a girl is speaking with her mom completely in text abbreviations. “My BFF Jill” became a running joke for many.

With these additions to the dictionary, does it mean that speaking incorrectly will become even more of an acceptable trend than what it already is?

When one goes into an interview with a future employer, will saying ‘OMG’ be acceptable?

According to a statement from Oxford, “It may be the first English usage developed via the medium of T-shirts and bumper-stickers.”

Other countries already view American English as simplistic and moronic and these additions to the Oxford Dictionary give them all the more right to make the jokes and rude comments.

We are supposed to be one of the most powerful nations in the world yet we are losing the respect of other nations due to our lack of speaking skills and our overall lack of understanding of the English language.

It is rare for an American to properly use words, which creates slang, and now Oxford is making it completely all right to do so.

Good luck Americans; we are still digging ourselves a deeper ditch.

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