Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, Hashtag is now in the 2014 Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, along with Selfie, Tweep and 147 other New Words.
I don’t know about you, but Hashtag has been part of my dictionary for quite some time. Ditto Selfie. So it seems silly to me that Merriam-Webster is only now catching up to what is my reality. But I guess I understand.
20th Century constructs have trouble adjusting to 21st Century Life and the rate of change just throws them into a tizzy.
But it’s nice to see they’re catching up.
According to Peter Sokolowski, Editor at Large for Merriam-Webster, “tweep, selfie, and hashtag refer to the ways we communicate and share as individuals. Words like crowdfunding, gamification, and big data [also added this year] show that the Internet has changed business in profound ways.”
Again, this we know.
But I suppose if someone like my Aunt, who stays current on plenty of issues, but is not really online very often, wanted to know what a word like Tweep meant without having to ask me, it would be helpful for her to find it in the Dictionary.
But what about what we don’t know?
Collins English Dictionary is taking to Twitter to find out what words people want to see in the next Dictionary they produce.
Click over to twictionary.collinsdictionary.com – you have until May 28 to vote for words from a list they have compiled. (“Adorkable” is my personal favorite.)
Andrew Freeman, associate publisher at Collins, said: “Twitter offers us an immediate snapshot of how much a word is used. The tried and tested approach to compiling dictionaries has to adapt to embrace the ways in which language is developing through use on social media, and this is a fun way to get Twitter users involved in defining the English language.”
What words do you think belong in the Dictionary?
Sarah Auerswald is the co-Founder of MomsLA.com.