Big news in lexicography today! The word “twerk” has been added to the Oxford English Online Dictionary.
Isn’t it about time?
Conservative linguists fight to keep our language traditional and fixed, but language is moving and changing. We need definitions that are flexible and up to date. Our lexicon has to be open to outside influence, or we might as well call ourselves French and be done with it.
There are about 1,000 new words added to the Oxford Dictionaries Online every year. This year, new entries will not only include “twerk,” but also “selfie: a pouty self-portrait usually taken with a smartphone” and “girl crush: an intense and typically non-sexual admiration felt by one girl for another.”
This change has come just in time for Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and Lil’ Twist’s newly leaked single called — you guessed it — “Twerk” — allowing moms and dads everywhere to use the power of an online dictionary to make sense of the word.
Fact: One day my son borrowed my husband’s phone to look up an address. In the Google Search box he found the words, “What is twerking?” My husband’s secret was out, and we haven’t heard the end of it.
Also, a big apology to anyone who just Googled “Miley Cyrus twerking” and ended up here for a lecture on lexicography, but really — you kind of deserve it.
Photo Source: Pacific Coast News