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LOL, WTF? The Origin Stories Of Your Favorite Internet Acronyms

Have you ever thought about where now-ubiquitous semi-words like "OMG" and "LOL" come from? Sure, they've been sanctified by the Oxford English Dictionary as totally legitimate, but it's often difficult to figure out how, exactly, they began. Show More Summary

Jolly Roger

A listener asked why the flag flown on a pirate ship was called a Jolly Roger. The Oxford English Dictionary brands this popular story as folk etymology: Their red flag was called Joli Rouge (pretty red) by the French, and may have been corrupted into English as Jolly Roger. Show More Summary

18 Ways English Differs From Whatever The Hell Language We Text In

The English language is famously adaptable. In just the past few years, the Oxford Dictionaries have added such words and phrases as "vacay," "refollow," "death stare," "geek chic," "lulz," "tweeps" and "facepalm." That’s impressive....Show More Summary

Twitter and the Oxford English Dictionary | OxfordWords blog

2 weeks agoTechnology : Message

Twitter and the Oxford English Dictionary | OxfordWords blog: Richard Holden of the OED (@rchrd_h) credits me as the first twittered use of ‘hash tag’ and #hashtag, but I’ve been left out of the OED citation itself. Odd, especially since Ben Zimmer came to the same result a few years ago).

66 Facts You May Not Have Known About The English Language

The English language is, quite literally, the greatest language in the world. Great in terms of size - the current edition of the Oxford English Dictionary contains 615,000 entries. Great in terms of scope -- it's an official language in seventy-nine countries and territories. Show More Summary

All the news from Ubisoft's press conference

Everything you need to know from Ubisoft's E3 event. Faster than you can pronounce all the swear words in the Oxford English dictionary, Ubisoft's E3 2014 press conference came and went.Click here to read the full article

The Bitcoin Bugle: Happy Belated Bitcoin Pizza Day

Can you believe it’s been four whole years since someone bought the first pizzas ever with bitcoins? Can you believe he paid 10,000 of the things for them? Well, in honor of this holiday of sorts, the Oxford English Dictionary has placed “crytocurrency” next to “bitcoin” in the definitive list of English words. Show More Summary

'Sherlock' makes the Oxford dictionary 'ship' definition

"Sherlock" is an important show to television. And now the Oxford English Dictionary has codified this by using the Benedict Cumberbatch series as its example to define the new word, "ship."Any fan of the show is unlikely to be surprised...Show More Summary

Civilization: Beyond Earth shoots for the stars

2 months agoEntertainment / Video Games : CVG

Explore new Civ territory in a hands-on with Firaxis next entry. The Oxford English dictionary's definition of the word 'Civilisation' is: "The stage of human social development and organization which is considered most advanced." Click here to read the full article

10 of our favorite phrases that come from horse racing

1. Across the board Across the board, meaning "pertaining to all categories or things," originated around 1903 as a betting term in horse racing. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, wagering across the board means betting that your horse will finish "in either first, second, or third place." 2. Show More Summary

10 Words Every Book Lover Should Know

The word for a book-lover is a 'bibliophile,' a word first recorded in print -- according to the Oxford English Dictionary -- in 1824. Alternatively, there is the word 'bookworm,' which is of an altogether older pedigree: it first appears in 1580. Show More Summary

Birthday words

The OED has a "birthday words" feature: Do you know which words entered the English language around the same time you entered the world? Use our OED birthday word generator to find out! We’ve scoured the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) to find words with a first known usage for each year from 1900 to 2004. Simply select the relevant […]

Music Review: Maria Minerva - Histrionic

Maria Minerva Histrionic [Not Not Fun; 2014] by Guy Frowny Rating: Traditional opener: “The Oxford English Dictionary defines histrionic as…” But Maria Minerva’s always perverting traditions as she embodies them, creating faux etymologies...Show More Summary

Oxford English Dictionary: Killed And Saved By The Internet

3 months agoIndustries / Law : Techdirt

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) describes itself -- with somewhat un-British immodesty -- as "the definitive record of the English language." It's certainly big: The 20 volume Oxford English Dictionary is an unrivalled guide to the...Show More Summary

The Dictionary Has Been Wrong About Siphons for 99 Years

Dictionaries are pretty solid authorities about what words mean, but they overextended themselves when reaching a bit in the definition for the word siphon. The Oxford English Dictionary and many others have erroneously claimed that atmospheric pressure makes siphons work for 99 years, so Dr. Show More Summary

Dictionaries Have Been Wrong About How Siphons Work, So a Physicist Corrected Them With New Research

3 months agoOdd : Geekosystem

Dictionaries are pretty solid authorities about what words mean, but they overextended themselves when reaching a bit in the definition for the word siphon. The Oxford English Dictionary and many others have erroneously claimed that atmospheric pressure makes siphons work for 99 years, so Dr. Stephen Hughes did some research to set them straight.

OED Overload

If you’re eagerly anticipating the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, be prepared to wait until 2034. You can blame the internet for the delay, which has made research easier but also leads to information overload. There are so many new words that the dictionary would be 40 volumes if it ever makes it […]

The Oxford English Dictionary...

3 months agoUnited States / Seattle : Slog

...is now out of print. It is the world’s most definitive work on the most global language, but the Oxford English Dictionary may be disappearing from bookshelves forever. Publishers fear the next edition will never appear in print form...Show More Summary

In the catbird seat

Q: Why is it such a good thing to be “in the catbird seat”? And where did Red Barber get the expression? A: The Oxford English Dictionary describes “the catbird seat” as American slang for “a superior or advantageous position.” The OED’s earliest published example of the usage is from “The Catbird... ? Read More: In the catbird seat

Britta'd, Lizzing, & Tedding Out: The TV Character Name Dictionary

4 months agoFilm / Film Reviews : Pajiba

Here's your handy guide to television character names as words that should be added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

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