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Twitter Generates Many New Words In 2009 Says Oxford English Dictionary

According to a study published on Wednesday, it has been revealed that maximum newly-coined words recorded by the Oxford University Press this year are related to technology.

Susie Dent, the lexicographer who headed the project which scanned almost 2 billion words in the Oxford University Press database, said that "All the words on the list were chosen from Oxford's language-monitoring programme for their topicality and for the snapshot they give of our preoccupations over the year."

Upon closer inspection of the list, it was found that some words were even inspired by the micro-blogging giant Twitter. Tweetup, a word high on the list, refers to the practice of organising meetings via the social networking site. Other Twitter words include Twitterati, Twitterverse and Tweet.

However, the word of the year according to the New Oxford American Dictionary is "Unfriend" which means removing someone as a "friend" from a social networking site such as Facebook. Its alternative, "Defriend" enjoys the same popularity in UK, according to the study.

Words like Staycation (which means enjoying a vacation by staying inside ones home), Freemium, which refers to free service providers with paid-for premium extras and Bossnapping, which mean retaliating against one’s boss if one gets fired were also popular this year.

Our Comments

It is interesting to note that Twitter, not Google or Facebook, has the most enriched the English vocabulary with a number of words. The fact that the word Twitter contains "Twit" makes it all the easier. Google is too complicated to associate with other terms and Facebook is itself an association of two words already.

Related Links

'Tweetups' and 'unfriend' among Oxford English Dictionary's 'words of the year'


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Many new words Twitter-generated


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(Daily Mail)