Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

October 12, 2013

I put a spell check on you

You’ve probably heard that a bunch of new words have been added to the Oxford dictionary. Phablet. Unlike. Buzzworthy. Selfie. Twerk. Cakepop. If you haven’t heard, you must not suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), also just added. What puzzles me is, why you would be looking up any of those words in a dictionary?

You don’t know what “twerk” means? Oxford’s definition, “dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance,” isn’t that big of a help. You’d be better off looking it up on YouTube rather than in a dictionary. Well, you really won’t be better off. As a matter of fact, you’ll want to clean your eyeballs out and take a long shower to wash away the ickiness of it all, but you will be better informed about what the word means.

And, unless you’re familiar with Facebook, to “unlike” something would be hard to explain, whereas it’s easy to demonstrate. For some reason, “unfriend” is in the dictionary, but not “unsend,” a word I use constantly after realizing I have sent a wildly inappropriate email to someone by accident.

How long before the language mavens wrestle “email” to the ground? The word is in most dictionaries. But they are still fighting over whether it should be “email” or “e-mail.” Considering that one of their main jobs is to help us spell words correctly, that seems a bit of a bobble.

“Internet” is also in the dictionary now, but it’s capitalized. Why? That seems very silly. I’d keep it lowercase. It’d be like capitalizing the word “phone.” Srsly? That’s also one of new words. As you’ve no doubt figured out, it means “seriously.”

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