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Social networking terminology become mainstays in the Oxford English Dictionary’s ‘words of the year’

Alex Christie

31 December 2009

Oxford English Dictionary ' Words of the year'

Oxford English Dictionary ' Words of the year'

As Oxford English Dictionary unveils its words of the year, we find social networking giants paving the way for new words. Words such as ‘tweetups’ and ‘unfriend’ are now mainstays in the Oxford dictionary, highlighting the up and coming importance of the online social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

So which words form the world of online made the cut this year…

Words of the Year 2009

Tweetup: (noun) a meeting or gathering organised by using posts on the social networking site Twitter. [from tweet + up on the pattern of MEETUP]

Hashtag: (noun) a # [hash] sign added to a word or phrase that enables Twitter users to search for tweets (postings on Twitter) that contain similarly tagged items and view themed sets.

Unfriend/defriend: (verb) to remove from one’s ‘friends’ list (e.g. on a social networking websites such as Facebook / Twitter)

Tag cloud: (noun) a visual depiction of links to website content using keywords, or of user-generated tags attached to content. Tag clouds typically use colour and font size to represent the importance or frequency of the words or tags depicted.

Paywall: (noun) a method of blocking access to a part of a website which is only accessible to paying subscribers
Slashdot effect: (noun) the slowing down or even crashing of a small website due to a massive increase in traffic when the website is linked to from a much more popular one.

And last but not least my personal favourite…

Simples: (exclamation) used to say that something is very easy to achieve [from compare the market’s 'compare the meerkat' TV advert]

Keeping along this theme,  it seems that twitter will soon be issuing their own dictionary, well at least they should be with number of phrases that are coming from them. Here are but a few of the main one’s to come from 2009, can you guess what they mean?

Twittermob
Tweeps
Twitterature
Tweetaholic
Twitt
Tweetup
Twitterati
Twitterverse/sphere
Retweet
Twibe
Twitterhea
Sweeple
Tweepish

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