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  • Kelly J Massey

What New Words will be in the Dictionary in 2016?

To be honest, these words seem to be such a common part of our vernacular I assumed that they would have already been accepted into the Oxford English Dictionary. Perhaps that is part of their selection, the writers of the OED need to see how long they actually stick around in usage before being added. Alas, this is their year, proving that our English language has become even more fluid with our faster communication via technology.

Hoverboard has finally made its way into the dictionary. Apparently Michael J. Fox's character in Back to the Future wasn't a good enough reason to add it to the dictionary back in the '80s. They have to threaten to blow up with their overpowerful ion batteries and be banned from all checked and carry on luggage on several airlines. Don't believe me?

Autotune has also finally made it into the dictionary. Hasn't this been a part of music for at least ten years? Ah well, maybe the OED was hoping it would go away as much as I would.

Carnap has also made it into the dictionary. Though it has a very different meaning at my house. When we say carnap, it means, "Oh no, the toddler fell asleep in the car! Tonight's bedtime will be an experience akin to the seventh threshold of hell."

Apparently the OED has decided it means to steal a car, similar to the kidnap version for a person. That's fair. To me it is still a negative concept.

Cisgender has also made into the OED, meaning someone who displays the gender qualities that they were born with. Often in our binary way of thinking we need some way to describe "the other". Now that we are recognizing transgender we need a way of describing everyone else. I wonder how Judith Butler feels about the word cisgender.

Crowdfund has also been deemed a valid word. This one is particularly easy to figure out as it is a compound noun with two words that are well known, especially if you have spent any amount of time on social media.

I am a bit surprised that Downtick hasn't been an entry in earlier years. This seems to me to be a familiar word, especially during and after the recession.

Jeggings has also made it into the OED this year. I didn't realize this was a thing until I went clothes shopping with my stepson and he was buying a pair of jweats. Apparently Jeggings are leggings that are made to look like demin and Jweats are sweats made to look like jeans. I've never really found my cotton denim to be that uncomfortable, so I'm not entirely certain the sudden need to dress it up as other things, but perhaps that is just my age talking.

Other words that have been introduced yet have been a part of the social media realm for a long while are: photobomb, staycation, and twerk. (I feel the same about way about twerk as I do autotune).

The other surprising entry was yarn bomb. This is a form of vandalism wherein someone knits objects then places them in public places. That's right, knitting can be a form of vandalism apparently. I have seen this before in my own city. The yarn is disgusting when it gets wet from rain or snow. Though it can look beautiful when dry and colorful.

Those are enough new words for now. I don't believe they will appear in my upcoming book series, but you never know.

#newwords #dictionary

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