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Dictionaries fish out new words from TV, SMS

“W00t’ means ‘yay’, Facebook means to add someone to a list of friends on the Web site Facebook.com or to search for people on the social networking site.

A leading U.S publisher based in Massachusetts, Merriam-Webster Inc. announced “w00t,” an expression of joy coined by online gamers – yes.. written with two zeros, as word of the year.

“It could be after a triumph or for no reason at all,” Merriam-Webster said.

‘Esoteric computer hacker language’ or ‘l33t speak’ is proven to be a global phenomenon. Numbers and symbols are used to replace letters. ‘L33t’ translates to ‘leet’—short for ‘elite’.

Meanwhile, The online social networking site Facebook has made it into the latest print edition of the Collins English Dictionary.

A spokeswoman for the firm said Facebook would be included as both a trademarked noun referring to “a popular social networking website” and as a verb, meaning “to search for (a person’s profile) on the Facebook website”.

Other neologisms included in the new edition are “subprime” and “green collar”.

As an adjective, “subprime” is referred to as a loan “made to a borrower with a poor credit rating, typically at a high rate of interest” and as a noun, meaning “a high-interest loan made to a borrower with a poor credit rating”.

Collins defines “green collar” as an adjective, meaning “of, relating to, or designating workers involved in environmental protection, or employed by companies that have protection of the environment as a stated aim”.

World languages is heading to massive evolution, naturally fostered by generation who interact with video games, internet, text messaging and mother of all big social alteration–TV.

Oxford Dictionary of English –considered to be the foremost single-volume authority on the English language – includes many new words and phrases which started life on television.

TV Series The Sopranos, has given us “bada bing” and more.

We are now living in an era when TV airs ‘reality televisions’ with ‘bootylicious’ ladies and ‘da bomb’ ‘turntablists’ rule the airwave.

But how do researchers decide when such words and phrases have become so widely used and understood that they deserve to be included in the dictionary?

“We analyse millions of words of text to find out what is becoming established in the language,” Angus Stevenson, one of the dictionary’s editors told BBC.

“We read science, technical stuff, novels, papers and mags, and even TV scripts – and only put words in the dictionary if there is good evidence of their use in a number of sources over a period of a few years.

Sci-tech department also give birth to new terms such as “pathogenicity islands”, “shotgun cloning” and “terminator genes”.

Well.. Good luck pronouncing them!

If ‘Facebook’, ‘cyberslacking’ and ‘brazillian’—as in waxing method made it to dictionary listings, we shouldn’t be so surprised if in the future our friends become a ‘poke-a-hontas’ by day and ‘mixologist’ at night on our favorite bars or clubs.

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