Monday September 3, 2012
OMG! The ODO is just ridic
But Then Again
By Mary Schneider
The latest entries in the Oxford Dictionaries Online reflect the dynamism of the English language.
OMG! I just read that the Oxford Dictionaries Online (ODO) has recently added some new words to its repository of more than 600,000 words, including, and OMG, you’re like not going to believe this, but “OMG” is now officially a word! What can I say? OMG!
Contrary to popular opinion, OMG (an exclamation used to express surprise, excitement, or disbelief) dates all the way back to 1917. It seems that during the height of World War I, British Admiral John Arbuthnot Fisher wrote the following sentence in a letter to Sir Winston Churchill: “I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the tapis – O.M.G (Oh! My! God!) – Shower it on the Admiralty!!”
All those exclamation marks indicate that John was feeling crunk (very excited or full of energy) about the new order under consideration. Indeed, the very idea must have seemed droolworthy (extremely attractive or desirable) to him at the time. I just hope he managed to chillax (calm down and relax) after that announcement.
I’m not sure if John personally received an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to his country, but if you suffer from infomania (the compulsive desire to check or accumulate news and information, typically via mobile phone or computer – not to be confused with nymphomania) you can check it on Google.
The latest entries in the ODO reflect the dynamism of the English language, as new words continue to be coined as the result of changes in technology, popular culture and relationships.
For example, bromance (a close but non-sexual relationship between two men) has made its way into the dictionary, prompting someone to suggest “dude-vorce” as the next word to trend.
Then there’s the mankini, a brief one-piece bathing garment for men, with a T-back. The mankini made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006, when the actor Sacha Baron Cohen wore a lime green one on the beach to promote his film Borat. I still experience a burning sensation in my eyes whenever I see or hear that word.
Current terminology could give rise to a sentence involving a bromantic in a mankini wearing guyliner (eyeliner that is worn by men) and bling (expensive, ostentatious jewelry).
I don’t have a problem with anyone wearing eyeliner, but why have a different name for basically the same stuff worn by women? Soon we’ll be having glusher (blusher for guys), glipstick and guyshadow.
Our growing use of social media has also resulted in new words, such as textspeak (language regarded as characteristic of text messages, consisting of abbreviations, acronyms, initials, emoticons – wot u get wen u rite as if u r L8). The more daring texters might even be into sexting (the sending of sexually explicit photographs or messages via handphone). But you better make sure that the photographs have not been illegally obtained, otherwise the po-po (police) might come after you, and depending on which country you live in, they might beat the poo-poo out of you, lock you up and throw away the key. Or at least I think that’s the truthiness (the quality of seeming or being felt to be true, even if not necessarily true) of the police in some countries. While we’re here, you might want to look up the meaning of the word vajazzle for yourself.
If you’re keen to reach a wider audience, you might want to clean up your act and join the Twitterati (keen or frequent users of the social networking site Twitter). However, if you spend too much time tweeting and are a bit of a muggle (a person who is not conversant with a particular activity or skill) when it comes to social media etiquette, some of your Facebook friends might feel neglected and unfriend (remove someone from a list of friends or contacts on a social networking site) you. But they would have to be a real hater (a person who greatly dislikes a specified person or thing) to do something like that in the first place. And you would probably be totes (totally) better off without them. Like d’oh.
I’m off now to have lunch with a locavore (a person whose diet consists only or principally of locally grown or produced food) at my favourite nasi kandar restaurant. While there, I will need to exercise some constraint, otherwise I will develop a muffin top (a roll of fat visible above the top of a pair of women’s tight-fitting low-waisted trousers) – obvs (obviously).
But then again, whatevs (whatever)! You only live once. Mwahahaha!