What Happens to Words When They Become “Real Words,” Revisited

Just under a year later, Merriam-Webster follows the OED’s lead and adds sexting to its dictionary, among other words. Last year I posed these questions about adding words from pop-culture to the dictionary:

  • Is there any danger in, or value to, adding “made up” words to the dictionary?
  • When a word becomes legitimized and included in a dictionary, does it become more removed from its original meaning?  
  • Since we have control over what is considered a worthy word, does the OED’s inclusion or exclusion of a word really matter?  What is the point of a standardized dictionary if we’re all in control of producing our own content and the dictionaries that regulate it?

You can read the full post here.  A year later — with social media an even larger force to be reckoned with and more and more people generating their own written content online every day — what do you think?