SPRINGFIELD, MASS., May 19, 2014—Hashtag, selfie, and tweep join over 150 new words and definitions added to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary in 2014, available now in print and online at Merriam-Webster.com. These new additions to America's best-selling dictionary reflect the growing influence technology is having on human endeavor, especially social networking, once done mostly in person.
Yes it seems computers, the internet, and other technologies are altering our language. Until this year I had never heard of “hashtag” and “selfie,” and until now I had never heard of “tweep.” What does it mean? “A person who uses the Twitter online message service to send and receive tweets.” Did we really need such a word? As you can see I’m not hip with all the new technology. I’m barely capable of managing this blog, and half the time I’m screwing that up. My brother is amazed that my wife and I don’t have a Smart Phone. The only selfie I’ve taken is with the time delay on my camera.
[Which reminds me. I was on a business trip last week and at the airport in California (of course) there was this guy—oh about early twenties in age—and while on line to check in was taking selfies of himself, solo. There was no one else with him. When he took the first I thought he was just trying to record the moment, but then he took a selfie of himself every other minute for about twenty minutes. What’s with that? And no, it wasn't the President of the United States. ;)]
Other words of note highlighted in the article are the following, with my commentary in parenthesizes: big data (as opposed to metadata?), catfish (akin to the internet lingo of phishing, spearphishing, and whaling), crowdfunding (another internet hijacking of the multitudes), fracking (a non computer technical term for a change), freegan (oh that makes me puke), gamification (they have a word for this?), pho (what if you just added orzo?), poutine (sounds rather vulgar and it is in a gastronomic sort of way), social networking (hasn’t this been around for years?), steampunk (I knew that one, it’s a literary genre), turducken (this had to be thought up down south on someone’s peanut farm), Yooper (hey, I know at least one Yooper!). I’ve hyperlinked them if in case my commentary made you curious.
Ok, now I can go around and use all these hip new words and all the kids will think I’m cool. Maybe I’ll even start taking selfies of myself.