When I was a little girl growing up many-a-word left my mouth. Many-a-word had I coined. I would have conversations with others and with myself about if some things I uttered were actual words or just something I made up. There was a solution to that, of course! The dictionary! Good ole Dic! (Oxford in particular for historic ties).
If the word in question was not in the dictionary, it was made-up and simply did not exist. That was my notion as a child. As I grew older and began hearing of words being added to the dictionary, I thought nothing of it because that’s how the first edition came about nay way right?
Then words like “Bootylicious” were added to the dictionary and I started to wonder some more about ‘made-up words’. Jump forward to present day where everyone around you is tapping on a screen and “socializing” by ignoring you in person but poking you online; where there is a complete new lingo for the young that I am not well-versed in.
The Oxford Dictionaries newest additions were enough to wrinkle my brow. The most perplexing of which include: (The complete list can bee seen on The Times)
adorbs (adj.): arousing great delight; cute or adorable.
amazeballs (adj.): very impressive, enjoyable, or attractive.
YOLO (abbrev.): you only live once (expressing the view that one should make the most of the present moment).
FML (abbrev.): (vulgar slang) f— my life! (used to express dismay at a frustrating personal situation)
To a lesser extent, I am also surprised about:
cray (adj.): crazy, but without that time-consuming extra syllable.
side boob (n.): the side part of a woman’s breast, as exposed by a revealing item of clothing.
So much for the men who coined this word for their inner circles, side boob will have to be revamped or given a new code name. Cray on the other hand had me surprised that it was not listed as ‘slang’. But to more pressing matters: adorbs? and amaeballs? Are you being serious right now?
Is that the criteria for anything to receive validation these days is that a large number of people subscribe to it, no matter the how ridiculous it may seem? I coined better words than these (and I am the sole member on that panel to decide good, better, best)
Perhaps, the contributors and editors of the Oxford Dictionary decided, “no point in waiting a hundred years. Lets add something while we are still alive and in charge of this!” Or does it require a famous personality to utter something for it to be then added to the dictionary?
One thing is for sure is that while language changes and evolves (hence this thing called Old English etc.) it always requires a mass following for noticeable change to take place. My words were used by a few but my friends over in England never heard them.
*PS Big ups to my friend @Shanice_Ookami who was the first person I ever heard use the words second screen umpteen years ago before it was added to the dictionary.