Oxford English Dictionary

ship (v.)

Ship was originally an abbreviation of relationship, and refers to a romantic relationship between two characters in a fictional series – often one that is supported by fans rather than depicted in the series itself. You might find these relationships portrayed in fan fiction or online discussion; those who have a particular interest in a particular ship are known as shippers, which is another word entering Oxford Dictionaries Online in this update. Support for one of these relationships is described with the verb ship – for example, ‘I will always ship Sherlock and Molly’.

—  Congratulations Tumblr, you got ship added to the dictionary.
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Feminists this is the Oxford English Dictionary. Feminism ≠ believing in ubiquitous equality. Feminism = a movement claiming to be about equality for the sole benefit women. Believing in Equality does not make you a feminist, it makes you egalitarian. Just please, if you want to argue definitions, this dictionary trumps whatever subjective online dictionary definition you think you have found, it has a far better reputation.

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Oxford English Dictionary officially adds gender-neutral title "Mx."
The move follows a similar one in Sweden earlier this year.

The Oxford English Dictionary announced last week that they have officially added “Mx.,” a gender-neutral honorific for those who don’t wish to be referred to as Mr., Ms. or Miss, to their dictionary. It’s pronounced “mix” or “mux.” 

Here’s the entry:

“Mx (noun): a title used before a person’s surname or full name by those who wish to avoid specifying their gender or by those who prefer not to identify themselves as male or female.”

Not long ago Oxford also added the word “cisgender,” showing a steady move toward more gender awareness and the recognition of trans issues in one of the most storied dictionaries of our time. Way to go! 

Omnishambles

The Oxford English Dictionary’s 2012 word of the year is “omnishambles”.

Although omnishambles is still most commonly used in political contexts, usage has evolved rapidly in other contexts to describe any debacle or poorly managed situation. Omnishambles, derived from omni- (‘all’) and shambles (‘a state of total disorder’), has given rise to its own derivative, omnishambolic, indicating that potentially this is a word with staying power.

The OED’s US counterpart, the Oxford American Dictionary, has chosen “GIF” as its word of the year.

Takeaway: The English are pessimistic while Americans are optimistically distracted by kittehs.

Ship was originally an abbreviation of relationship, and refers to a romantic relationship between two characters in a fictional series – often one that is supported by fans rather than depicted in the series itself. You might find these relationships portrayed in fan fiction or online discussion; those who have a particular interest in a particular ship are known as shippers, which is another word entering Oxford Dictionaries Online in this update. Support for one of these relationships is described with the verb ship – for example, ‘I will always ship Sherlock and Molly’.
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Oxford English Dictionary, adding a new definition of ship to their dictionary

WAIT A FUCKING SECOND HERE, THEY USED A SHERLOCK FANFIC REFERENCE AS A SAMPLE SENTENCE (and it wasn’t Johnlock?)

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Borrowed words in English: tracing the changing patterns

A fun interactive graphic from Oxford Dictionaries on various stages of borrowed words in English. 

Using the date buttons at the top of the graphic, you can compare the impact that different languages have made on English over time. In the “per period” view, you can see the proportions of words coming into English from each source in 50-year slices from 1150 up to the present day.

Compare for instance how the input from German has grown and then declined again from 1800 to the present day. (The earliest period, pre-1150, is much longer than 50 years, because more precise dating of words from this early stage in the history of English is very problematic.)

One minor quibble, although I’m sure this was not the intent. While it is certainly true that English has borrowed a lot of words from Latin and French, I am a little worried that graphs like this promote the widespread confusion about whether English is a Germanic or a Romance language.

To clarify: English is a Germanic language despite having borrowed a lot of words from Romance because all of those words were added to a core base of words and grammar that’s Germanic, specifically Anglo-Saxon. This graphic does not reflect that because it represents only words that were borrowed: if English were a Romance language (for example, if it were derived from the Anglo-French spoken by the elite in the centuries after the Norman Conquest), the graphic wouldn’t show as many French/Latin sources and would instead show a lot of borrowing from Anglo-Saxon. 

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THE WORD OF THE YEAR IS…

SELFIE noun, informal (also selfy; plural selfies): a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website

Earlier: ‘Twerk’ And 'Selfie’ Added To Online Dictionary

(Space selfie: AP Photo/NASA; Meryl and Hillary:  AP Photo/Kevin Wolf; Tom and Steve: Kevin Winter/Getty Images; Sasha and Malia: Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images; Beyonce via Tumblr; Bill and Bill via Twitter; Kevin and Kim via Instagram)

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English has been a constantly growing language, one that has developed by encountering and including the words of other languages and cultures. This “word-borrowing” can be traced to the major language groups of western Europe: Germanic, Romance, and Latin. It also demonstrates that much of modern English was already established by the 12th Century, owing to its derivation from other languages. This interactive map, constructed with data from the Oxford English Dictionary, reveals when and where a specific English word was first used and how prevalent that usage was at the time.

MEMO

FROM: Word Selection Committee of the Oxford Dictionary

TO: Staff

SUBJECT: Re: today’s new words

Dear Staff,

I know what you’re thinking: “Grats, idiots. You’ve destroyed the English language.”

You don’t like our new batch of words. You unlike our new batch of words. The Oxford Dictionary isn’t supposed to girl crush on Urban Dictionary. We’re supposed to be a gateway for the future of language, not some linguistic omnishambles for Generation Twerk. When trends like the Internet of things, MOOCs and space tourism crop up, the Oxford Dictionary is supposed to stick with tradition, not bandy about some vapid list of last season’s most fashionable acronyms (FIL? BYOD?), like we’re some A/W catalog previewing next season’s chandelier earrings for click and collect shoppers. (Even as I’m typing that sentence, I barely know what it means!) And lord, you’re thinking, if some Jersey Shore girl in a pixiecut with double-denim jorts and flatforms taking a selfie on her phablet is this generation’s William Shakespeare, you’re gonna straight up vom your street food.

I’ll admit, guac is a “new” word like bitcoin is a “real” currency.

But let me respond first by saying: Apols. Lately, we’ve been feeling a bit of FOMO about all the buzzworthy verbiage orbiting outside our hallowed pages. While initially it seemed a bit dappy to add nonsense like LDR and other ghastly abbrevs just because teens don’t have time to spell things out on Facebook Chat, the thing is, we can’t have our blondie cake pop and eat it, too.

It’s not this dictionary’s job to request a digital detox just because Web diction has shaved a fauxhawk into the English language. Rather, it’s our job to highlight the words that blend into the way we actually talk today. It’s kinda like linguistic balayage, if I truly understood what the heck balayage actually was.

So yes, our language is suffering from a food baby of derp these days. But it’s our job to adapt to the geek chic hackerspace – even if babymoons strike you as a dumb excuse for me time; even if pear cider remains an unacceptable alternative to beer; and even if emoji represents everything a good dictionary should be against.

TL;DR: Srsly, this is the future of language. Squee.