News World YOLO, vape – welcome to the language

YOLO, vape – welcome to the language

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People binge-watch their favourite dramas, humblebrag about exciting experiences on Facebook and show off some side-boob in revealing clothes, but Yolo.

Britain’s Oxford University Press said on Thursday that it was adding those words – along with other new entries such as time-poor and Paleo diet – to its online Oxford Dictionaries to reflect new language trends.

Editors track and analyse about 150 million English words used online, in newspapers and other sources, and once every few months decide which new words are so widely used that they merit a dictionary entry.

“These are words that are common enough that you are likely to encounter them, and may have to look up their meanings,” said Oxford Dictionaries editor Katherine Martin.

New entries include adorbs, binge-watch, humblebrag, listicle, neckbeard, side boob, vape, and Yolo – a favourite with teenagers which is an acronym of You Only Live Once.

Many new entries are informal words or abbreviations that reflect people’s changing media consumption habits and the internet’s ever-increasing prominence.

They include listicle – an internet article in the form of a numbered or bullet-pointed list – and live-tweet, the act of posting comments about an event on Twitter as it is taking place.

There’s also binge-watch, or rapidly viewing multiple episodes of TV shows.

Use of binge-watch has shown a steady increase over the past two years, with notable spikes in usage recorded around the releases of House Of Cards season two in February 2014 and Orange Is The New Black season two in June 2014.

Changes in our media consumption habits also see hate-watch – watching a program for the sake of the enjoyment derived from mocking or criticising it – added in this update.

Technology more broadly continues to have a strong influence and is reflected in new entries including acquihire, clickbait, Deep Web, dox, fast follower, geocache, in silico, octocopter, responsive, smartwatch, and tech-savvy.

The Oxford Corpus reveals an approximate tenfold increase in usage of the terms vape and e-cig in the past two years, as electronic devices which enable people to inhale smokeless nicotine vapour have become increasingly widespread.

E-cigarette, added to in August 2012, has seen an even sharper rise in usage.

However, despite the fact that e-cigarettes were not commercially available until the 21st century, the word vaping dates to 1983, when it was used to describe a hypothetical smoking device being considered at the time.

Other informal or slang terms added include bro hug, cray, hench, hot mess, mansplain, side-eye, and spit-take.

The abbreviation cray – crazy – seems to have arisen initially in the reduplicated form cray cray in the early 2000s, but it was popularised in its single-syllable form when used by Kanye West in the hook to a track from his collaboration album with Jay Z.

New words, senses and phrases are added to once editors have gathered enough independent evidence from various sources to be confident that they have widespread currency in English.

Martin said inclusion in the online dictionary did not mean the words would become permanent additions to the language. Many might not make it into the more traditional Oxford English Dictionary.

“For some of these, we will say ‘What was that?’ in a decade. Others may become the next selfie,” she said, referring to last year’s most popular new entry.

“The English-speaking public will choose.”

Adorbs is an adjective meaning something is cute or adorable, while neckbeard is growth of hair on a man’s neck, especially when regarded as indicative of poor grooming.

Amazeballs means impressive or very enjoyable.