TORONTO – ‘Hashtag’, ‘selfie’ and ‘yooper’ were among 150 new words added to the 2014 edition of the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.
The new additions reflect the growing influence technology has on human language and behaviour, says one of the editors of the dictionary.
“So many of these new words show the impact of online connectivity to our lives and livelihoods,” said Peter Sokolowski, an editor for Merriam-Webster, in a statement. “’Tweep’, ‘selfie’, and ‘hashtag’ refer to the ways we communicate and share as individuals. Words like ‘crowdfunding’, ‘gamification’, and ‘big data’ show that the Internet has changed business in profound ways.”
Other tech terms being added include ‘social networking’ and ‘steampunk’, defined as “science fiction dealing with 19th-century societies dominated by historical or imagined steam-powered technology.”
One of the more unusual terms to make the Collegiate’s 11th edition was the term ‘yooper’, a moniker given to long-time residents of Michigan’s upper peninsula. A prosecutor from Delta County, Michigan had pushed for the word to be recognized by Merriam-Webster for more than a decade.
“People up here, we really do have our own identity and our own culture,” Parks told the Associated Press. “We’re a really hardy bunch. We love the land, we love the lakes, we love hunting, we love fishing. You have to be very resilient to live up here.”
Other words recognized include food terms such as ‘poutine’, the iconic Canadian food of french fries smothered in cheese curds and brown gravy, and ‘Turducken’ “a boneless chicken stuffed into a boneless duck stuffed into a boneless turkey.”
‘Selfie’, named by Oxford Dictionaries as the 2013 word of the year, gained more popularity this year during the Academy Awards when host Ellen DeGeneres took one with several celebrities.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014
The word ‘catfish’ also made the list, though not as the long-whiskered fish, but as “a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes.”
The term made headlines when now pro-football player Manti Te’o announced he’d fallen victim to a catfishing scam while at Notre Dame.
Here’s a look at 10 other notable additions:
*With files from the Associated Press
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