Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Depressingly dumb dictionary entries

dictionary thesaurus

It’s that time of year again, when some of us start jumping up and down with steam coming out of ears – and everyone else wonders what’s wrong with us.

I refer to the regular task of revising our dictionaries to reflect modern life. A necessary job, but for some, it’s a job that has become trivialised (in pat) due to the Internet and texting.

For my part, I don’t have a problem with words that are going to last being added, but I do question the wisdom of including words which are probably going to be transient, and are probably going to fall out of use as soon as they become unfashionable, or ‘kewl’ (sorry, but I just can’t bring myself to use cool, a word I have come to associate with people who have an IQ close to zero, and a vocabulary close to the same in terms of content.)

Looking down a list of words added this time round, I see something I can’t recall caught my eye in the past.

While the usual collection of faddish words appears, I see some horrible abbreviated words are now included, and would question which such bastard children of real words need their own entry. They are not obscure, and their meaning should be clear to anyone without recourse to a dictionary.

For example:

  • apols, pl. n. (informal): apologies.
  • grats, pl. n. (informal): congratulations.
  • guac, n.: guacamole
  • vom, v. & n. (informal): (be) sick; vomit.

Srsly (sorry) Seriously, these are just bad and/or laziness, and inspired by texting to save keystrokes, or by those who are too tired to type whole words in emails.

Like most text speak, they don’t merit a place in the dictionary.

There is a place for them, a dictionary of slang perhaps, or just consigned to Hell, where all these horrible shortened words belong.

To this day, I have not bothered looking up many of the abbreviation used in emails sent to me, and have no idea what much of them say. For example, it was only when reading the article about today’s new dictionary entries that I learnt TL;DR, abbrev.: ‘too long didn’t read’: used as a dismissive response to a lengthy online post, or to introduce a summary of a lengthy post.

Via Twerk and geek chic make the Oxford Dictionary – but which words would you add? | Books |

I hope that they start publishing articles not about words which are added, but which are deleted – and how long they survived, particularly if only for a year or two.

Time to sit down with a nice warm cup of tea, and calm down 🙂


I just noticed I don’t even care about some of these new so-called ‘words’.

For example, the news article referenced above begins with a collection of letters in the order ‘twerk’. I have no idea what this means, nor do I care because it looks and sound stupid.

A few days later I saw a new headline about something called a Miley Cyrus and a Justin Bieber getting together to ‘twerk’ – and I realised I had not had to look up ‘twerk’ to understand it!




August 29, 2013 - Posted by | Civilian | , , , ,

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