Tweet, big data, crowdsourcing and more tech terms are added to the Oxford English Dictionary

Tweet, big data, crowdsourcing and more tech terms are added to the Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has been updated to include 1,200 new words and word revisions used commonly in tech circles, such as tweet and big data .

While terms such as tweet, follow and followers were already in the OED, their usage has been expanded to include use in a social media context.

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In fact, in a break with tradition, the inclusion of tweet as a noun and a verb breaks one of the OED’s own rules – namely that a word has to be in use for at least 10 years before it’s considered for inclusion, but as John Simpson, chief editor of the OED, notes “it seems to be catching on”.

The June quarterly update to the OED  includes a number of technology additions such as big data, crowdsourcinge-reader, mouseover, redirect (the noun), and stream as a verb.

While only a small proportion of the 1,200 changes or additions, are specifically tech words, terms such as geekery in the sense of behavior relating to a geek (rather than referring to “bizarre or grotesque acts performed at carnivals or circuses” as it did in its first incarnation).

Also making the list for the update are terms such as flash mob  as which refers to a group of people “who assemble in public to perform a pre-arranged action together and then quickly disperse”, which you – but not the OED – probably already knew.

Other notable additions for the quarterly update include binge drinking and binge drinker, BFF (Best Friend/Friends Forever), dad dancing, fiscal cliff, to have a cow, and pay day loan. It also includes cludgie, which is slang for toilet, apparently.

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