Tech Tuesday: Oxford English Dictionary Update – Tweets & Other Technology

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The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) announced its latest update, which adds over 1200 newly revised and updated words to the epic resource. Among the updates are some popular tech jargon words.

For those of you following us on Twitter, you’ll be happy to know that OED’s entries for follow (verb), follower (noun), and tweet (noun and verb) have been expanded to include the social media definitions, which have exploded in use over the past six years.

John Simpson, the dictionary’s chief editor, said “tweet” was added despite not having yet been used for 10 years, which is one of the rules the dictionary traditionally follows before adding a new word. They bypassed the rule this time around, because the word “seems to be catching on.”

According to OED, the use of the word tweet increased 3 times, between 2006 and 2007 (when Twitter began), and by 2012, it had increased to 50 times.

Other tech related words like live blog, crowdsourcing, mouseover, 3D printer, redirect, big data, stream and e-reader have also been added.


Here are a few of the new definitions:

twitter, v.

To make a posting on the social networking service Twitter. Also: to use Twitter regularly or habitually.

crowdsourcing, n.

The practice of obtaining information or services by soliciting input from a large number of people, typically via the Internet and often without offering compensation.

mouseover, n.

The action of moving the pointer on to an element of a graphical user interface or web page; an event (esp. a visual change) triggered by this.

e-reader, n.

A person who reads electronic text; spec. a reader of an electronic version of a book, newspaper, etc., esp. as distinguished from a reader of the paper version.


Some of our favorite non-tech related words include: dad dancing (yes the embarrassing kind), flash mob, fracking, geekery, mani-pedi, red velvet (as in the cake), trans and young adult

The full list of new words added in the June 2013 update can be found on the dictionary’s website here.

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