Merriam-Webster adds 'Tweet' and 'Social Media'

If anything speaks about the omnipresence of social networking, it's this. The words 'Tweet' and 'Social Media' have been added to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate dictionary. So when someone's saying they have something to tweet about, they're not just making a word, or using a word that isn't accepted in English. These two entries are two among 150 entries that have been added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary this year. The Editor of Merriam-Webster Peter Sokolowski says it has a lot to do with the role social media has played in certain current events. He said, "From the dramatic events of the Arab Spring to the scandal that brought down Congressman Anthony Weiner, tweet is a word that has been part of the story. We've been tracking words like social media and tweet for years, of course, and now we feel their meanings have stabilized enough to include them in the dictionary."

'Tweet' is both a noun and a verb in the Merriam-Webster dictionary



Other tech related terms that made it to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary this year are crowdsourcing (the practice of obtaining information from a large group of people who contribute online) and m-commerce (a business transaction conducted using a mobile electronic device). Other words entered are in the pop-culture arena - fist bump (a gesture made famous by Barrack Obama), helicopter parent (a parent that's overly involved in their children's lives), boomerang child (a child who still lives at his or her parents' especially for financial reasons) and uh, cougar. Merriam-Webster entered 'Twitter' as a verb and a noun in 2009 and in addition to tweet, retweet has also been added. This is the first time since 2009 that Merriam-Webster's added new words. Back in 2009, new words entered (with a tech angle) were vlog, webisode and pdf.

Published Date: Aug 27, 2011 11:51 am | Updated Date: Aug 27, 2011 11:51 am