The influence of English jargon and slang talk is all around us. One cannot escape it, especially on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The Merriam-Webster dictionary’s newest additions to its glossary indicate a ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ attitude about the current twenty-first century colour language that has been coined for the necessity of description.
The words that have been added to the dictionary include ‘jeggings’ which is a portmanteau and a noun- and comes from the words ‘jeans’ and ‘leggings’. This word is used to describe leggings (tight pants with no pockets) that are of a denim material.
The word ‘photobomb’ has also been added. The word refers to the action when someone is taking a photo, and someone purposely walks into the frame, or background while possibly pulling a funny face or movement. On the internet, one can find many examples of photobombs- ranging from animals to people.
Something that most people use in text messages, instant messaging apps and on Facebook is emojis, the faces that one uses to for additional expression like Emojis have also been added to the dictionary, defined as symbols, pictures or icons used to describe the emotions of the author, without words. Their inclusion in the dictionary is necessary because of the fact that they are so commonly used in everyday writing that involves technology.
Another word that has been included is ‘meme’. Its origin derives from a Greek word meaning ‘that which is imitated’. The word is a noun that defines an idea, behaviour, style or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture. In popular culture, the word is used to describe a picture with text written below and above the image. Popular sites like 9Gag use memes to express certain attitudes- each meme represents something- like a ‘Good Guy Greg’- someone who does something kind for you, or a socially awkward penguin- describing a situation that is uncomfortable. Many foreigners frequent these sites, which they claim help with learning English.