Barbarians Measuring the Drapes: Dictionary Acknowledges “Tweet”

Poster: Howard Davidson Arlington MA

Barbarians measuring the drapes. The Oxford English Dictionary is seemingly taking Twitter under its wing by including the modern definition of “tweet” in its newest edition.  The august word authority admits it’s breaking its own rules by including the word before it has had a decade to marinate in the vernacular lexicon.  And with no hint of irony, the OED also has included the word “crowdsourcing”, as if to make sure we know that it’s lost control of the English language.

The first tweet apparently got sent out in March 21, 2006.  (Unsurprisingly, it provoked potty language by the third comment.)  Not coincidentally, the OED stopped publishing its print edition in 2010, and it now relies on online subscriptions.  (Strangely, the word “retweet” was included in 2011.  Not sure what that’s all about.)  The lexicographers still must be feeling the heat of the competition from the online mobs that have taken control of the world, and OED seems to have chosen to work proactively to embrace a “crowdsourcing” future, rather than stand defiant in the face of rapid change.  Of course, defiance of society’s rapidization has its points, too.

In a less groundbreaking development, the OED also has included the word “dad dancing”, which allows me to include this.

Okay, back to my tweeting.

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