Tweep, Yooper, fangirl, freegan, gamification. These are a few of the 150 words added to the 2014 editions of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. Many of the new words are related to electronic communications.
This is the first year that "selfie" was added even though it was the word of the year for Oxford Dictionary in 2013. The editors explained that they prefer to wait until it is certain the word will be used for the long term. They don't like removing words from the dictionary.
In keeping with the times; hashtag, selfie, social networking, unfriend, tweep, catfish, are among the new words.
hashtag - a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that classifies or categorizes the accompanying text
selfie - an image of oneself taken using a digital camera, especially for posting on social networks
social networking - the creation and maintenance of personal and business relationships, especially Online
unfriend - to remove (someone) from a list of designated friends on one's social networking Web site
tweep - a person who uses the Twitter online message service to send and receive tweets
catfish - a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes
The new dictionary
Words, words, words
So what on earth is a Yooper? It's a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, used as a nickname. "Freegan" is an activist who scavenges for free food (as in waste receptacles at stores and restaurants) as a means of reducing consumption of resources. And "gamification" is the process of adding games or gamelike elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation. [personal note: We did this in the 80s calling it teambuilding.]
Other interesting words that caught my eye were:
crowdfunding - the practice of soliciting financial contributions from a large number of people, especially the online community
fangirl - a girl or woman who is an extremely or overly enthusiastic fan of someone or something [personal note: I think this one is sexist.]
turducken - a boneless chicken stuffed into a boneless duck and stuffed into a boneless turkey [personal note: this one surprises me because we ordered turducken fifteen years ago from Grasch's Market in WI.]
One change that I really don't like is the second use of the word "literally." For years I have hated the use of the word when "literal" is far from the real meaning (I literally died laughing.) Now the editors of Miriam-Webset have listed a second use for the word "literally." It now means, "in effect, virtually." And the example given is; <
turn the world upside down to combat cruelty or injustice---Norman Cousins>; [personal note to Miriam-Webster: long-term use of the wrong word doesn't make it right.]
While the new Miriam Webster includes "dubstep" (a type of electronic dance music having prominent base lines and syncopated drum patterns) it seems to have excluded the word Miley made famous, "twerking." Perhaps next year.