It’s Official: “Selfie” “Big Data” and “Gamification” are in the dictionary
No doubt you’ve heard of the terms “Selfie”, “Hashtag”, “Unfriend”. These words along with more than 150 others have been officially added to the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate dictionary. “Big Data”, “Gamification” “and “Hot Spot” have also made the cut, demonstrating not only the physical impact that technology has on our everyday lives but also linguistically in the words and terminology we use. A large number of words added relate to digital and social media, while others were food driven – like “Pho” and “Turducken”.
These new additions reflect the growing influence that technology has on human interactions and business development, and how technology is being used to understand and motivate behaviour.
“So many of these new words show the impact of online connectivity to our lives and livelihoods,” said Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster. “‘Tweep,’ ‘selfie,’ and ‘hashtag’ refer to the ways we communicate and share as individuals. Words like ‘crowdfunding,’ ‘gamification,’ and ‘big data’ show that the Internet has changed business in profound ways.”
Merriam-Webster determines word additions into the dictionary through a network of observers who track word usage and analyse the sustained widespread usage of the word, before making final selections. Watch out! Big Data and Gamification are here to stay!
Here are some of the tech-driven words that have made the cut:
big data (n., 1980): an accumulation of data that is too large and complex for processing by traditional database management tools
catfish (n., new sense): a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes
crowdfunding (n., 2006): the practice of soliciting financial contributions from a large number of people especially from the online community
digital divide (n., 1996): the economic, educational, and social inequalities between those who have computers and online access and those who do not
gamification (n., 2010): the process of adding games or gamelike elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation
hashtag (n., 2008): a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that classifies or categorizes the accompanying text (such as a tweet)
hot spot (n., new sense): a place where a wireless Internet connection is available
motion capture (n., 1992): a technology for digitally recording specific movements of a person (as an actor) and translating them into computer-animated images
selfie (n., 2002): an image of oneself taken by oneself using a digital camera especially for posting on social networks.”
unfriend (v., 2003): to remove (someone) from a list of designated friends on a person’s social networking Web site
ARTICLE SOURCE: http://time.com/103503/merriam-webster-dictionary-selfie-catfish/
By Kalai Chu, Senior Research Consultant
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