Friday, June 26, 2015

The OED gets the shakes

Sorry Miley. While you may have popularised twerking to the extent that you've become famous for it, you can't claim to be the originator - the word "twerk" (with the variant spelling "twirk") seems to have been in use since 1820. Somehow I can't imagine Queen Victoria approving of the practice.

This revelation means that "twerk" isn't so much an entirely new addition to the Oxford English Dictionary as a term that has been rightly reinstated after a period of absence. Also now included in the dictionary are "meh" and "Twitterati". Given that, "for a word to qualify, it must have been in popular use for at least 10 years in both novels and newspapers", those two additions seem rather odd - "meh" has been in circulation for a lot longer, whereas (as a friend has pointed out) surely "Twitterati" can't be ten years old yet?

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