I know I’m a little late to comment on the recent additions to the Oxford Dictionary, but I thought about it yesterday and it really irked me. If you haven’t heard, LOL, OMG, and the heart symbol (<3) for love have all recently been added. This bothers me on many levels. As I have proclaimed several times, I love words or I ❤ words (because apparently that’s acceptable now). I love words so much that my favorite board game is Scrabble, I get the tingles when I find typos in text books, and as a child I used to get dictionaries as Christmas presents. I think the majority of us use a small fraction of all of the vocabulary available, myself included. However, this doesn’t mean I don’t try to expand my vocabulary and I think everyone else should too. Adding words like LOL, OMG and words that aren’t even words (more like a math sign, which I detest) ❤ to an English dictionary, to me, cheapens the English language as a whole. Words aren’t abbreviations; they’re single entities that add up to a bigger picture. LOL is multiple words: laugh, out, loud. All three already have their spot reserved in the dictionary.
Yes, I understand that for texting and Facebook purposes it may be acceptable to use shorthand phrases, but for everyday use… not okay. Is it exponentially more difficult to simply say or (God forbid) write, “Oh my God/gosh” as opposed to OMG? How much time and energy are you really saving? They are both still three syllables; if you count each letter as a syllable (I mean, how do you even measure that?). I think my major concern is that kids are going to start thinking it’s acceptable to use those “words” in papers and in an academic setting. Just because it’s in the dictionary, does not make it fair game to use whenever. And don’t even get me started about using it in Scrabble… heads will roll and I will not be LOL-ing.
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