The latest update to the free online dictionary includes many words we've already been using on a day-to-day basis in our buzzworthy news coverage. Other terms such as phablet and emoji are also now included.
The Oxford University Press announcement explains:
Technology remains a catalyst for emerging words and is reflected in new entries including MOOC (‘massive open online course’: a course of study made available over the Internet without charge to a very large number of people); bitcoin (a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank), and the compound Internet of things (a development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity).
All these are terms that crop up frequently on I Programmer, which could be perhaps be considered as a virtual hackerspace (a place in which people with an interest in computing or technology can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge), but are now officially part of the language.
The acronym BYOD (Bring Your Own Device: the practice of allowing the employees of an organization to use their own computers, smartphones, or other devices for work purposes) is one we have already become accustomed to, while another new addition, TL:DR, an abbreviation standing for "too long didn't read" and "used as a dismissive response to a lengthy online post, or to introduce a summary of a lengthy post", was explained only this week by Ian Stirk in a book review - so an entry in the dictionary is well overdue.
Even if you've not come across it, the meaning of emoji isn't hard to deduce - a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication. What is interesting is that the word's origin goes back to 1990s and is traced to Japanese 絵文字 from e 'picture' + moji 'letter, character' rather than having any connection with "emotion".
How many of you are reading this on a phablet (a smartphone having a screen which is intermediate in size between that of a typical smartphone and a tablet computer)?
And we do hope that you are not planning a digital detox, (a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world.)
Let's see how many more words we can invent before the next quarterly update - or should that be quartdate.