Friday, March 25, 2011
© Copyright 2014
Gwinnett Daily Post
LONDON -- OMG! The exclamatory online abbreviation has won the approval of the Oxford English Dictionary.
The term -- short for ''Oh my God'' or ''Oh my gosh'' -- is one of dozens of new entries in the authoritative reference book's latest online update.
Other Internet-inspired expressions given the stamp of approval include LOL, ''laughing out loud;" IMHO, ''in my humble opinion;" and BFF, ''best friends forever.''
Dictionary compilers said that although the terms are associated with modern electronic communications, some are surprisingly old. The first confirmed use of ''OMG'' was in a letter in 1917.
''Things people think are new words normally have a longer history,'' Graeme Diamond, the dictionary's principal editor for new words, said Friday.
''Who knows how many people from 1917 onwards were using that term, in correspondence that we just don't have access to. With the advent of the mass media we have access to much more personal information.''
That helps explain a flood of new terms from the online world, including ego-surfing -- the practice of searching for your own name on the Internet -- and dot bomb, a failed Internet company.
Not all the new abbreviations originated online. One new entry is wag, for ''wives and girlfriends.'' First used in 2002 to describe the female partners of the England soccer team, it is now used to denote the glamorous and extravagant female partners of male celebrities.
''By our standards Wag is a real rocket of a word,'' Diamond said. ''To go from being coined in 2002 to being included in 2011 is quite unusual.''
The new update includes about 900 new words and meanings, from ''flat white'' -- a milky espresso-based drink originating from Australia and New Zealand -- to ''muffin top,'' defined as ''a protuberance of flesh above the waistband of a tight pair of trousers.''