Twerking and omnishambles get dictionary approval
Miley Cyrus' provocative dance and Malcolm Tucker's catchphrase included in online edition of OED
MILEY CYRUS may have scandalised America with her display of "twerking" but the word itself has been given the stamp of respectability by the Oxford English Dictionary.
Twerking is one of 1,000 new words, abbreviations and portmanteau terms included in the online version of the dictionary, The Times reports.
And in case you think the OED is simply jumping on the Cyrus bandwagon, its spokeswoman points out that twerking earned a place in the database last year after becoming a "talking point". Words are added to the OED list, she explains, when enough independent evidence shows they have "widespread currency in English".
That certainly applies to "omnishambles", the wonderfully expressive catchphrase immortalised by foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker (above) in the BBC political comedy The Thick of It.
Other new words embraced by the OED suggest a "certain self-regard" among their creators, says The Times. It is the vocabulary of a generation that takes "me-time" to shoot a few "selfies" – the seemingly ubiquitous process of taking self-portraits, usually with a phone camera or a webcam. Others may devote their "me time" to eating a particularly large meal, resulting in a sensation dubbed a "food baby".
A particularly large "food baby" may be dislodged by a "vom", perhaps. Meanwhile, the term "digital detox" suggests an addiction to technology has become more of an issue for younger readers of the OED than an over-reliance on alcohol.
Not surprisingly, new technology is a big influence on the new vocabulary. "Bitcoin" (an online currency) is on the database along with "click and collect" (ordering goods online before picking them up). The "internet of things" describes the push to add connectivity to everyday objects and a "phablet" is a smartphone with a particularly large screen.
There are plenty more new words and abbreviations in the OED’s database, but discussing them would make this article a bit "TL:DR" (too long, didn’t read). ·