OMG in the OED? Look it up!

Attention, professors, college students, and high schoolers: texting language might not be appropriate for academic papers, but…it’s now got a bit of an official blessing. Some of the most popular abbreviations, like “LOL” for “laugh out loud,” are now in the Oxford English Dictionary, as explained in this article from the LA Times:

“FYI, OMG enters Oxford English Dictionary. LOL.”

It’s official: OMG and LOL are no longer just time-saving shorthands. They’re real English.

Interestingly, the article points out that OED researchers have found that “LOL” had a life long before texting. Extra credit for Bell Tower readers who find the answer and post below. (However, likely no extra credit for actually using “OMG” in any of your papers!)

stock image for texting abbreviations

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One thought on “OMG in the OED? Look it up!

  1. I keep seeing this story, and while interesting, I’d like to point something out that seems to be going ignored:

    The Oxford English Dictionary is a very specific type of dictionary. It’s what’s called a “historical” dictionary and it’s one of the very, very few in the English language– the only one this comprehensive.

    As a “historical” dictionary, it is not necessarily concerned with establishing words as “real English” words, but simply following and noting trends in the language.

    LOL, FYI, and OMG, are not “real English” words in the sense they would be considered “standard English.” They are still what they always have been– shorthanded abbreviations for lazy texters, born of a generation of thumbs.

    The OED has simply recorded their existence and their usage, not given them legitimacy as “real English.”

    Pet peeve, I know. I couldn’t help myself anymore. πŸ™‚

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