Updating the Dictionary. A Good thing? Yes, and No.

Dictionary.com just made a bunch of updates and new additions.  That’s great, right?

I will be the first to agree that our language is evolving.  Especially now, when our kids are living in a world that is so much different from when many of us grew up.

I remember the first time my five-year-old said the word “modem” or “keyboard”.  It sounded so odd.  Last night my six year old and eight year old were fighting because one of them threatened to “delete” the other’s “file”.  If you think about it, 30 years ago that would sound like Star-Trek like stuff.  Right?

So yes, I agree with updating the dictionary… to an extent.

Pixelate, aggregator, and cyberbully…yes, I would agree to adding these words to the dictionary.  They are new, and a part of our lives now.

Anyhoo????  Please, come on, say it isn’t so.  This one makes me cringe as much as when they added “ain’t.”

Yes, they are saying it is “informal” and a “humorous alteration” but what will they add next? BFF?  a’cause?

I love the English Language.  I hate when people abuse it in their laziness, or when something silly someone says catches on to the point of annoyance.  I used to hear “anywhoo” and not blink, because someone was being derogatory or making a joke… but now to add it to the dictionary?

I hope I don’t wake up in five years and find I can’t read the dictionary because every word is either ‘new made up lingo’ or has been replaced with shortened versions that are easier for texting.

IMO, Anyhoo and I will never be BFFs.  LOL.  Fureal.  Gedit??

And, by the way… my spell checker flags “anywhoo” as mis-spelled.

My spell-checker and I are buds :-)

(But that doesn’t mean I want “bud” added to the dictionary as “slang, abbreviation of buddy”)  Erggh.

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15 responses to “Updating the Dictionary. A Good thing? Yes, and No.

  1. I remember when the word ‘humongous’ wasn’t considered a word. The first time I heard it was when I went to college in the States. Our language does evolve and will continue to evolve long after we’re gone, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it. I don’t like the way everything has been abbreviated. Every word seems to have an anagram version, which to me is just lazy text-speech. Give me a perfectly spelled, grammatically correct sentence, any day! :)

  2. a good idea and should include a good dose of slang that we can use when facebook updates all its games. just spent a few hours the past couple of days hiding a slew of them so that I wouldn’t get fungus requested…hahaha.

  3. The Dictionary according to The Simpsons!

  4. I think there should be one dictionary for dialect and informal speaking language and one for academic or literary use. Sure, if I write for young adults, I might need to check out the teen speak so my dialogue sounds real. I think you can have an honest narrative for young adults without degrading use of proper grammar and “formal” English. If we don’t show them what’s good writing, who will?
    After all, everyone knows you don’t write like you talk:)

  5. If language didn’t change, all humans would still speak one original tongue. Yes, some changes come from the need to describe new inventions and thoughts. But playing with words and grammar is not limited to English of the 20th and 21st centuries. Shakespeare was a master. Our ancestors have been doing it since language evolved. And I suspect every elder generation bemoans the changes—even though they played a role in the process as well. :)

  6. writerwendyreid

    Lmfao, Ikr? :-P

  7. Unfortunately I need the dictionary to understand some of these words. I hate feeling out of touch, and when the in-group gets communicating sometimes I’m complete confused.

    I’m hoping it’s not just me. :-)

  8. Think, though. Somewhere down the line someone probably griped and groaned about an every day word we use now being added to the dictionary back then. I thought it was funny that chillax was entered into the dictionary. The first time I ever saw it was in Twilight.

    I think it’s good that slang is in the dictionary. The words are part of every day speech, whether we want them to be or not. Just remember, the dictionary doesn’t promote a way of speech. It only defines it. What we choose to do with those words is up to us.

  9. Some days you just make me smile.

  10. I completely agree. The dictionary should add words that become part of human life, such as words associated with computers and technology. Words used as slang or in text are simply that. They are not really words, but shortened, condensed versions that part of the human population understands. My parents, for examples, still have trouble opening a text on their flip phone; yes flip phone.
    The ironic story about “ain’t” is that it was once the proper second person in England. People misused it so much that a “linguist” for that time eliminated the word from proper grammatic form in English.
    Thank you for a great blog.

  11. The dictionary is an important resource where we want a source of words. Some informal and new words need to be added as they may be popularly used in the future.

    But some are really silly. I heard that Homer Simpson’s “D’oh” entered the dictionary. But when a word is added, we should ask what the word means. In this case, what does “D’oh” mean?

  12. Er, Confession: I’m guilty of anywhen, which I have to say I think ought to be included, but anyhoo? What is this? Do they mean anywho or should it be anyhow? If they add words, those words should be clear and meaningful and if they’re not, then what’s the point?
    Language does change: other cultures add, teenagers corrupt, ’twas ever thus. If we tipped back five or six hundred years, we’d find a very different language. Less bothered about change than about clarity (and apostrophes!)

  13. well I ain’t like got no like opinion on this much, anyhoo my bff and me are gonna go score new kix cuz we got swag!
    WHAT???? I HAVE to agree with you the butchering of the English language is an abomination. Great post.

  14. One phrase that really irritated me was, “my bad” when someone makes a mistake and wants to offer a feeble apology.

  15. It is disgusting how our lovely language is being shredded! The use of the word ‘like’ every other word is another example that irritates me so much. Grrrrr