In further confirmation of social media’s penetration into the language, Merriam-Webster has added both “tweet” and “social media” to its Collegiate Dictionary.
Merriam-Webster, which announced the move last Thursday, is a bit late to the game. The Oxford English Dictionary just added “tweet” and “retweet,” not to mention “sext,” last week. Collins English Dictionary added “Twitter” as a verb and a noun in 2009.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, the best-selling dictionary, added 150 words, just a few of which are tech-related. Others include “m-commerce” and “crowdsourcing.” Among the other new additions are “fist bump,” “bromance,” “cougar” (in reference to middle-aged women on the prowl) and “helicopter parent.”
This was the first time Merriam-Webster added new terms since 2009. Back then, the dictionary added “vlog,” “webisode,” “flash mob” and “pdf.”
Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for the dictionary, says the new terms are decided upon in an informal manner. “It’s just a process of seeing a word used frequently and in many different sources,” he says, noting that inclusion in outlets like The New York Times is a big consideration.
Sokolowski says there are a few words on his short list for likely inclusion next time around including “man cave,” “millennials” and “mashup.”