As part of its annual bid to ensure it has only the hippest, coolest dictionary, Merriam-Webster has announced plans to add another handful of popular neologisms to its upcoming 2014 edition, so that your dictionary may once again be the envy of all your peers. “What’s that, a Macmillan?” cool kids across the nation’s hallways will scoff. “It doesn’t even have ‘tweep’!” they’ll laugh, as their uncool peers look up the definition of “mortification.”
The portmanteau of “tweet” and “people you would never talk to in real life” is but one of 150 new words that will join the esteemed ranks of the cool English language—many of them being included, according to a press release, to “reflect the growing influence technology is having on human endeavor, especially social networking,” and the way it has ruined words. Strangely, “social networking” itself is a new addition, defined as “the creation and maintenance of personal and business relationships especially online” by someone who’s apparently never been on Twitter or Facebook (else it would read “the dissemination of mob outrage and cat photos among people killing time on the bus”). These join other Internet-spawned phenomena like “selfie” that have officially been added, as “shame” has officially been taken out.
Also receiving its induction into the wordie (noun. what cool people call dictionaries) is a new definition for “catfish,” named after the documentary and TV series of the same name where it’s mentioned in a tangential, almost completely unrelated anecdote to the story of a woman pretending to be someone else on Facebook. The press release also mentions “last year’s strange story of football player Manti Te’o’s nonexistent girlfriend,” in explaining how lexicographers will still be making fun of him years from now.
Other things that have been immortalized until dictionaries become irrelevant (which will certainly never happen so long as they keep adding cool new words): Dubstep, fangirl, freegan, and steampunk—all presumably drawn from one person’s terrible eHarmony profile. Now you will know what they mean and why you shouldn't date them.
In related news, the word “gullible” still isn’t in the dictionary.
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