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Word Nerd: New Words in the Oxford American Dictionary!

Written by Rebecca Christian

Ready to put on your “LBD” (Little Black Dress) go out with your “BFF” (Best Friend Forever) to “share a moment,” and then develop an “exit strategy” if you encounter fellas who think they’re “all that” (what we used to call God’s gift to women)?” Better take the Oxford American Dictionary’s list of newly added words along. Go here for the full list: http://blog.oup.com/2010/09/noad3/!

“My bad” is one of the newly added phrases already so passé that the dictionary seems as lame as parents of teens trying to “talk the talk.” These include “hockey mom,” “wardrobe malfunction,”  “like herding cats,” and “what’s not to like?” which sound as nineties as the Macarena and spandex shorts. The time lag is comforting though, if like me, you still find yourself saying “neato,” “cool,” and “right on,” which I misheard as “ride on” when it first came into vogue. Such a misuse is an “eggcorn,” also added this year. It refers to language abuse like “eggcorn” for “acorn” or “duck tape” for “duct tape.”

“Big Media,” which I usually see capitalized, has a pejorative edge like Big Government, Big Pharma and Big Brother; it means TV, radio, and the press as opposed to blogs and personal websites. Old words with new definitions include “pimp,” meaning to make showy, as in “pimp my ride.” A particularly sickening one, “heart,” means to like very much, as in “I heart this song.” If you want to set teeth on edge, then “totally” heart a Justin Bieber song, dotting your “I”s with miniature hearts while you’re at it.

Another new phrase is “TTYL” (Talk To You Later). Hey, what happened to the good old days of proper English, when we signed off with “TTFN” (Ta Ta For Now)?

(A longer version of this post originally appeared in the Telegraph Herald in Dubuque, Iowa.)

 

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