Language is a living thing, although not in the biological sense as it has to change from time to time in order to keep up with the rest of society. Having said that, the English language has seen its fair share of new introductions over the course of the past few years, where many of the new words introduced tend to hail from the world of technology. The Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), John Simpson, recently made an announcement that would place Twitter on par with Google, as “tweet” is now part of the dictionary as a verb as well as a noun. Under normal circumstances, a word would need to be used in common spoken and written language for approximately a decade before it can even be considered for inclusion in the OED.
Simpson did mention that use of the word to mean a message sent via Twitter “seems to be catching on”. Well, just in case you were wondering, a little bit of lexicographical history is required here to get us off on the right footing. The word “tweet” itself dates back to 1851, when its first use described a bird call. Fast forward to the 21st century, and the definition of tweet would include “to make a posting on the social networking service Twitter. Also: to use Twitter regularly or habitually.” Interestingly enough, the Oxford English Dictionary did include the word “retweet” a couple of years ago, now how about that?
- 2013-07-08 Tweet With Word ‘Bomb’ Results In Arrest
- 2011-11-23 First tweet from PlayStation Vita
- 2011-11-18 AP reporters ticked off for tweeting
- 2011-10-07 Tweet Speaker app reads your tweets to you
- 2011-09-12 Twitter sues Twittad for using the world "tweet" in its slogan