Oxford is No Longer the Arbiter of the English Language

Oh Oxford Dictionary. Rather than being a linguistic leader, now you’re just a follower.

We’ve got a new crop of words in the dictionary that we can use officially. Among them “NSFW,” Cyber Monday,” “paperless,” and “infographic.” Of course, we’ve been using all of these words unofficially for years. So where the dictionary used to be the place to find words you could use, now if you type a shortcut or make a sound and others start grunting it too, it ends up in the big book of words. (Or on its website. These additions come from the Oxford Dictionaries Online). Oxford is just trying to  keep up with the kiddies.

For marketers, this is great. If you can come up with a phrase and it catches on, you’ve basically created the language that you’re going to use in your promotions. For instance, “Cyber Monday” started as a marketing term pulled together by the National Retail Federation. Today, retailers have tacked it on to their holiday marketing programs.

Also included on the Oxford list: “meep,” “nekkid” (instead of naked? Are you kidding?), and “ZOMG,” which by definition (from the Urban Dictionary) is also a misspelling.

Did you know “nom nom” was added last year? That doesn’t even make any sense.