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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Oxford Dictionaries Online Adds ‘Selfie,’ ‘Emoji’ and Other Tech-Oriented Terms

Selfie, phablet, emoji. A few years ago, these words held little to no meaning for most Americans. But thanks to the onward creep of new and pervasive technologies like smartphones, Facebook and photo-sharing, and communication services like Snapchat and Instagram, they have become nearly ubiquitous.

On Wednesday, Oxford Dictionaries announced it had added a number of new words, many of which were born of a distinctly digital era, into its online lexicon.

“With influences ranging from technology to fashion, there is something for everyone in the update,” the organization said in a blog post.

The organization reviews and adds new words each quarter, along with their formal definitions. This time, the organization added more than 60 new words and terms, including “bitcoin,” the upstart virtual currency that has attracted the attention of federal regulators; “emojis,” the colorful cartoon characters that can replace words in text messages; and “selfie,” a self-portrait taken and then uploaded to a social media site like Facebook or Instagram.

In addition, the dictionary added the word “phablet,” which refers to the larger-than-life smartphones that appear to be a cross between a tablet computer and a smartphone. And it pinpointed several popular Internet abbreviations, including “FOMO,” which stands for the “fear of missing out” and “tl;dr,” which stands for “too long; didn’t read.”

“The additions may have only just entered the dictionary, but we’ve been watching them for a while now, tracking how and where they are used,” said the organization in its blog post.