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'Tweet' officially part of Oxford English Dictionary

Less than a decade ago, the word 'tweet' only meant one thing: the chirp of a bird. How things have changed.

As of this month, the lauded Oxford English Dictionary, the accepted authority of the English language, includes an official second definition for the word: "To make a posting on the social networking service Twitter. Also: to use Twitter regularly or habitually." That's right — the word tweet, as it relates to social networking, is now an official part of the English language.

John Simpson, chief editor of the OED, announced the new addition in a June update. "The noun and verb tweet (in the social-networking sense) has just been added to the OED," Simpson wrote. "This breaks at least one OED rule, namely that a new word needs to be current for ten years before consideration for inclusion. But it seems to be catching on."

Oddly, the word retweet, or the act of reposting a message posted by another Twitter user, was added to the OED back in 2011. Editors didn't give an explanation as to why retweet was added first.

The OED is revised every three months to update existing entries and add new words.

This quarter, a number of other tech-related words and phrases made their way into the book, including big data, the popular phrase that refers to "data of a very large size, typically to the extent that its manipulation and management present significant logistical challenges." Other newly added tech words include: crowdsourcing, e-reader, mouseover, redirect (the noun), and stream (the verb).

In recent years, meanwhile, the OED has also added Internet shorthand like LOL, OMG, and FYI, as well as words like bloggable and sexting.