Miley Cyrus' performance gave birth to the newly-added word "twerking".|Photo courtesy of Esquire
By Louise Maureen Simeon

Srsly, you took a selfie while you're twerking in a bar because you have a FOMO?

The words may sound colloquial and informal but "srsly", "selfie", "twerk" and "FOMO" are among the hundreds of newly added terms in the Oxford Dictionaries Online (ODO), 
wherein most of the words emanated from the fast-paced technology and the predominant global trends.

Over 1.8 billion new words are discovered annually but only thousands are included in existing vocabularies. Moreover, such new words are added to stay up-to-date in the contemporary language.

Selfies scattered all over social media sites or the digital age made the coming of selfies possible.|Photo courtesy of Google Images
When photo-sharing site Instagram became mainstream, "selfies" were also born. Defined as "a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smart phone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website", selfies on the bed, in the car and even in comfort rooms are now uploaded almost instantaneously and are expected to garner numerous likes.

Although "twerk" has been present 20 years ago, it was only popularized today when American singer and actress Miley Cyrus performed her controversial hit, “We Can't Stop”, at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) with Robin Thicke. To twerk means "to dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance". Albeit Cyrus' twerking was considered lewd and obscene, the verb is now included in the ODO.

Something is "buzzworthy" if it is "likely to arouse the interest and attention of the public, either by media coverage or word of mouth" such as scandals involving prominent celebrities, viral videos and articles on national concerns. Meanwhile, a smile, a wink and a kiss are some of the "emojis" used in electronic messages. Emojis are digital images or icons that add emotions to a message.

Shorter version of words is also evident in the new Oxford list. If you accidentally stepped on someone's foot, "apols" instead of apologies is fine. "Grats" for congratulations is also included. Remove the vowels in the word seriously and you have "srsly". If you feel like vomiting, "vom" is already understandable.

Move over LOL and ROTFL, more abbreviations are set to dominate the online world. Be updated and never experience the "FOMO" or "fear of missing out" or the "anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website." If your better half is on the other side of the world or somewhere that you cannot reach in a day, then you are in an "LDR" or "long-distance relationship". "TLDR" or "too long, didn't read" is "used as a dismissive response to a lengthy online post, or to introduce a summary of a lengthy post."

The fashion industry also contributed a number of terms. Women can now enjoy "chandelier earrings" or "a long, elaborate dangling earring, typically consisting of various tiers of gemstones, crystals, beads, etc." Wearing a denim shirt or jacket paired with a denim jeans or skirt is somewhat awful because "double denim" is considered as a fashion faux pas. A "flatform" or "a flat shoe with a high, thick sole" is probably the blessing for vertically-challenged individuals. If the weather is too hot, a "pixie cut" or "a woman's short hairstyle in which the hair is cropped in layers, typically so as to create a slightly tousled effect" is the answer.

These new words are proof of how diverse language is. It evolves, changes and gives way to a newer set of terms according to what is dictated by the society. Technology is at its zenith and so is culture. So, watch out because more and more words are to merit double or even triple points in the Scrabble board game. You better!

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