Love the web and how it makes new words all the time? Awesome, because there are a few more ready to go that you can use, because now they’re in the dictionary.
Not all Australians pay attention to the Webster dictionary — hey, we have the Macquarie, so why would we? — but if you do, Merriam Webster has this week added some new words that you can use in real-life and not fear that someone is going to call you a jargon hustler (not that anyone would, because we probably just made up that term).
In any case, Webster’s new technological terms this week include the “meme” which Webster describes as either “an idea, behaviour, style, or usage that spreads from person to person” or the definition most of us know it as with “an amusing or interesting item (such as a captioned picture or video) or genre of items that is spread widely online especially through social media”.
Sounds like a meme to us.
“Clickbait” has also been added to the dictionary, though not bait for you to click like on various websites, with this one defined as “something (such as a headline) designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink especially when the link leads to content of dubious value or interest”.
Clickbait and meme aren’t alone, and will be joined by icons of a smiley, happy, playful nature, as “emoji” has graduated into a real word too, and not just something that you can occasionally tell a story in while your friends scratch their heads wondering how you did that.
From here on in, emoji (which can also be plural with “emojis” in case there was any doubt) is defined as “any of various small images, symbols, or icons used in text fields in electronic communication (as in text messages, e-mail, and social media) to express the emotional attitude of the writer, convey information succinctly, communicate a message playfully without using words, etc”.
One wonders whether “emoji” now replaces “emoticons” given at one point, an emoticon was very much the same concept, with an icon — say “:)” or “;(“ — used to convey an emotion. Granted, emoji can do more, and even Ikea and Star Wars have used them, but they offer very similar concepts.
And there are a couple of acronyms joining the dictionary, too.
For instance, it is now ok to say “WTF” — because that abbreviation is totally valid, apparently — as well as “NSFW”, just make sure your work is fine with you saying what “WTF” stands for at work otherwise it might be deemed a little NSFW, if you catch our drift.