Do you hear that? That sobbing on the wind? That’s the sound of a million English Majors recoiling from their computers in horror.
Oxford Dictionaries, the world-renowned archive of English linguistics and terminology, has added a few dozen slang terms to their online version, dragging phrases like “rly,” “mic drop,” and “brain fart” out of the shadows of colloquial vernacular and into the searing light of official language.
The selection process for Oxford Dictionaries includes only words they believe to be the most significant, and have the highest possibility of remaining in common usage. Which is super weird, because they added “holodeck,” but whatever.
While it might seem like due cause to renounce your English fluency, these kinds of additions are nothing new. The Oxford Dictionary online edition is constantly shifting and growing, like some kind of ravenous, slang-gorged amoeba. Past additions have included “D’oh,” popularized by Homer Simpson as to comment on a stupid action, “al desko,” used to describe eating at ones desk, and “WTF,” a popular abbreviation of, well, you know what it means.
A few of the new terms include:
A title used before a person’s surname or full name by those who wish to avoid specifying their gender or by those who prefer not to identify themselves as male or female.
A female fan, especially one who is obsessive about comics, film, music, or science fiction.
The practice whereby a man, especially one traveling on public transport, adopts a sitting position with his legs wide apart, in such a way as to encroach on an adjacent seat or seats.
Extremely good; excellent
Make or repair (an object) in an improvised or inventive way, making use of whatever items are at hand.
(Of food) suitable to be eaten as a snack OR (Of online content) designed to be read, viewed, or otherwise engaged with briefly and easily.
A person one does not know, especially one regarded as odd, suspicious, or engaging in socially inappropriate behaviour.
Bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger.
Unfashionable or socially awkward in a way regarded as appealing or cute.