March 27, 2011

OMG, LOL, FYI & IMHO find a place in Oxford Dictionary

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Over the last decade, Internet has influenced almost everything and languages have experienced most transformation. Owing to the increased use of Internet-specific slangs and their use in mainstream communication, Oxford English Dictionary will now officially include some very popular abbreviations – OMG, LOL, FYI & IMHO. OED defines them as follows:

OMG – [OMG int. (and n.) and adj.]: ‘Oh my God’ (or sometimes ‘gosh’, ‘goodness’, etc.)

LOL – [LOL int. and n./2]: ‘laughing out loud’

IMHO – IMHO (‘in my humble opinion’) [IMHO at I n./1]

What’s even more interesting is that the first uses of OMG and LOL date back to mid-1900′s – claims OED. In those days, it wasn’t uncommon to use such ‘initialisms’ in regular communication. The investigations done by OED has revealed that OMG was first used in a personal letter from 1917, FYI originated in the language of memoranda in 1941 and LOL actually meant ‘Little Old Lady’ back in 1960s.

OED agrees that such abbreviations are easier to type and that they save much time in electronic communication where each character counts. However, their meanings widen when used in print or any other offline media, adds OED.

The intention is usually to signal an informal, gossipy mode of expression, and perhaps parody the level of unreflective enthusiasm or overstatement that can sometimes appear in online discourse, while at the same time marking oneself as an ‘insider’ au fait with the forms of expression associated with the latest technology.

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