Now who would have thought? Oxford English Dictionary’s new additions are consistent with scientific claims that human beings are in a state of constant evolution.
Words that were at some point anathema in an English class may find themselves embedded deep in the text of a Masters Degree thesis. And if that happens, universities everywhere will at least have someone (or something) to blame – like the Oxford English Dictionary.
Yes, the Oxford English Dictionary will now contain Internet abbreviations like ‘OMG’ (Oh My God!), LOL (Laughing Out Loud) and the more accepted (in official circles that is) FYI (For Your Information).
The heart symbol (<_3 _="_" also="also" english.="english." has="has" into="into" it="it" lofty="lofty" made="made" of="of" p="p" queens="queens" realms="realms" the="the">
Other entries OED has taken up and that have been popularized by the age of electronic communication include BFF (Best Friends Forever) TMI (Too Much Information) and IMHO (In My Humble Opinion).
In an official explanation on the inclusion of OMG and other abbreviations, OED says their use has been largely driven by both the character limitation of popular forms of electronic communication (e.g. SMS, Twitter) as well as the need to communicate quickly (takes a shorter time to type OMG than Oh My God).
But beyond that, OMG and LOL are no longer just abbreviations – OED in fact calls them “signals of an informal, gossipy mode of expression.”
Then there is WAG – the acronym that has found its way into ordinary sports commentary. WAG stands for Wives and Girlfriends and is a term used to describe the partners of male sports personalities.
It was first used on print in reference to the ‘significant others’ of prominent male footballers but has since spread to other disciplines among the more notable being golf.
Still, strictly speaking, WAG does not refer to just the any wife or girlfriend – rather, it has come to denote the partners of rich and famous sportsmen.