Over 400 new words have been added to the newly released 12th edition of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary—including a bevy of tech phrases that have emerged with the rise of sites like Facebook and Twitter.
“Social networking sites have created a real language of the net,” Angus Stevenson, an editor of the 12th edition of the OED, told Reuters. “We've noticed that new words come into currency much more quickly as a result of the Internet, as people see friends, or friends of friends, using new words and copy them.”
Words like “retweet” and “textspeak” have become standard slang for tech-savvy English speakers, while other new additions such as “sexting” and “cyberbulling” have already raised national headlines (and parents’ hackles).
Another new word, “woot,” “began in America but was picked up very quickly by people in Britain, as a result of the Internet breaking down international boundaries,” said Stevenson.
Thanks to the social media boom, some established words have been given new meanings, too. For instance, “follower” can now mean “someone who is tracking a particular person, group, etc., on a social networking site,” while a “friend” can be “a contact on a social networking website.”