'Tweet' Re-Defined In Oxford English Dictionary To Include 'Social Media Sense'


You can now Tweet in safety, grammar pedants: the word has been officially entered into the Oxford English Dictionary for its social media implications, as well as its audible pleasantries.

In fact, a whole host of meanings and words related to Twitter have made it into the OED.

The words Follow (verb), follower (noun) and tweet (noun and verb) have all been expanded to include the social media sense.

Alongside a number of other additions, the new words and senses bring the database of headwords, sub-senses, phrases and compounds to 823,000.

The OED noted a threefold increase in the instances of the word tweet between 2006 and 2007 - and a 50 times increase by 2012.

Other tech-related phrases to make it into the official lexicon include 'geekery', 'live-blog', 'mouse-over' and 'crowdsourcing'.

The OED explains on the former:

"The earliest sense of geekery to be included in the OED refers to bizarre or grotesque acts performed at carnivals or circuses (from 1947, although now rare). The OED now includes the more familiar sense (first identified from 1990) referring to behaviour typical of a geek – specifically devotion to a particular subject or pursuit which might be regarded as unfashionable or highly technical."

"This breaks at least one OED rule, namely that a new word needs to be current for 10 years before consideration for inclusion. But it seems to be catching on," added dictionary chief editor John Simpson.

You can read the OED's full (and entertaining) explanations of the changes over at its official blog.