Have you ever heard of people who took it upon themselves to be the guardians of the English language? Those who vehemently seek to correct you everytime you say something they think is not grammatically correct? Do you ever ask yourself where these language policemen were when the English language was corrupted, so much so that there is very little consistency in its rules? Does it not make you wonder why somebody gave the name ‘eggplant’ to something with no egg in it?
Thus, to better examine this dilemma let's take a closer look at a few more examples of the reasons why English is certainly one of the strangest languages you will ever encounter. Teachers will tell you that the plural of ‘man’ is ‘men’, yet that of ‘ox’ is ‘oxen’, and ‘house’ is ‘houses’. However, when asking teachers to explain why one can’t use ‘mans’ or ‘oxes’, they will tell you that these are just the rules.
What I am trying to get at here is that, those who are limiting the English language from evolving and absorbing new words might as well try to stop a stampede of elephants. In essence, if the language is allowed to say that a vegetarian eats vegetables but a humanitarian does not eat human beings, then its guardians should seriously consider their own role.
To prove that the keepers have a tall order to fill, I have taken ten words and case examples that have quietly made themselves at home in the English language. I checked these words in various English dictionaries and noticed they have a conspicuous position among the other words. So let’s start and look at what these words have come to mean, and how they have made their way into the English language.
The official meanings of the words have been taken from the Oxford Dictionary.
The word troll is a noun which means “an ugly creature depicted as either a giant or a dwarf” in Scandinavian folk culture. When this notion was brought into the English language in the nineteenth century, they had no idea that it would take on a completely new meaning in the age of the Internet.
The new meaning this word has now taken on refers to a person who goes out of his way, to make a comment that seeks to offend and provoke at the same time. Whether the new trolls are ugly dwarfs or giants, we will never know. Since “trolling” is often done behind a computer screen on the Internet.
This creates the (minute) possibility that the person trolling you could actually be, for example, a beauty pageant. Nonetheless, the word is more often than not associated with annoying individuals from video games or people that are very creative at entertaining the audience by annoying someone.
Yet it is important to highlight that the the original meaning of the verb has nothing to do with monsters.
Originally, ‘trolling’ means: fishing by trailing a baited line along behind a boat. Online-trolling is pretty similar to that process. The troll provokes or aggravates other Internet users in hopes of evoking strong or negatively emotional responses. The word has been in the dictionary since 2006.
The word ‘troll’ actually decided to bring along its extended family and gain a new lease on life online through its cousin the concern troll. This phrase refers to people who ‘disingenuously express concern about an issue with the intention of undermining or derailing genuine discussion’. This notion and concept is continuously evolving but the word debuted in the dictionary in 2015.
I’m pretty sure we can all agree that the Internet has done amazing things for us and will probably continue to do so. I mean who could have imagined that because of Facebook the word ‘like’ would become a noun and ‘friend’ has resulted in turning into a verb.
Nonetheless, despite these feats there is also a downside to all this. Due to typos and commonplace use of the English language on the Internet, it has caused a number of compound words to fuse together and form new words that have the same meaning but are not always correct. For example: ‘every day’ and ‘everyday’, ‘every one’ and ‘everyone’, ‘every where’ and ‘everywhere’, etc. My favorite example is the usage of every time. This is the best example as to why not everything can be fused together since it is not correct to say ‘everytime’, at any time.
Well, that’s that for our collection of garden trolls so let’s have a look at the term noob. Even though Microsoft Word may not recognize this word, the dictionary certainly does. According to this dictionary, the word means ‘a person who is inexperienced in a particular sphere or activity, especially computing or in the use of the Internet’.
The term is especially popular among gamers. Some argue there is a misconception that the word originated from the Mortal Kombat game and appeals to one of the easiest-to-play characters - Noob Saibot.
The truth is that the term evolved from the English word ‘newbie’. Sadly, even though Mortal Kombat had a considerable impact on the gaming industry, it didn’t influence the dictionary definition that much. However, one can argue that the gaming platform itself led to this word’s development.
The next time you have a problem with your computer, just pick up the phone and call the company that fixes your network for you and ask to speak to the ‘noob’. If they do not understand what you are talking about, they are certainly not up to speed with computer terminology, let alone advise you about your computer. The word noob joined the official English family in 2006.
How the word spam made it into the dictionary to mean: ‘irrelevant and unsolicited messages sent over the Internet, typically to a large number of users, for purposes of advertising, phishing, spreading malware, etc.’ -- is all questionable to say the least. Just by looking at the 1930s origin of the word you will see that it meant ‘sp(iced h)am’. Spiced or not, if every spam email I received was some ham, I would actually go out looking for spam. I would pretend I am interested, eat the ham and go back to minding my own business.
Monty Python, the legendary comic-group had a sketch dating back to 1970. In it, the group visits a restaurant where every item on the menu included spam. The sketch greatly represents the nature of not-wanted ads in your mailbox even though it was aimed to make fun of monotonous English cuisine. Notwithstanding its history with spiced hams, this word entered into the dictionary with its new meaning in 2001.
Trust the Oxford Dictionary to be the only place where you can find the meaning of the word woot. This term made its way into Internet culture to indicate illation as it was already being used by those who were playing D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) to show happiness. The word ‘woot’ had its own woot moment in the dictionary in 2012.
The word photobomb has nothing to do with a bomb hidden in a photo. According to the dictionary, it certainly has everything to do with a person who makes their way clandestinely into the camera's field of view and ends up appearing in a photo where they were not supposed to be. I'm pretty sure you all had those moments when you're trying to take a picture next to some famous landmark and somebody just randomly passes by and ends up in the picture’s background.
This word became popular as we entered the 21st century. Some say that it could be due to the fact that the language wanted to be Y2K compliant (remember how everybody panicked on the 31st of December 1999, unless you are too young to recall)! Therefore, it took in some words that it did not have in the last century. The word ‘photobomb’ photobombed itself into the dictionary in 2012.
When a gadget has no idea whether it wants to be a phone or a tablet, it should be called a phablet. It is interesting to note how we combine works to create new meanings in our generation. Oddly enough, this has not applied to academic terms such as ‘biology essays’. I mean think about it, we could be calling it a ‘biosay’, which is kind of catchy and a lot shorter!
So don't let people start bothering you with questions like “what are you carrying over there, is that a phone or your new TV?” Just tell them you are carrying a ‘phablet’. According to the dictionary, this word originated in the early part of the 21st century when phones and tablets became quite popular. In 2013, the word ‘phablet’ found its own place in the dictionary.
During the good old days, to ‘unlike’ something was not the same thing as to dislike it. Then came Facebook and everybody became obsessed about the number of ‘likes’ they got. If you wanted to punish someone because their husband just bought them a new luxury BMW, and they posted about this, you could not only ‘unlike’ them, you can easily block them too. You can ‘unlike’ those who keep misusing the English language as much as you want, but after 2013, there is no way you can remove this word from the English language.
The modern era of the Internet means to some degree that being sad will get harder and harder. If you are feeling down, just log onto your Twitter feed and look at the memes of the latest news and when you are done you will have a six pack from all the laughing. According to the dictionary, the official meaning of this word refers to the passing of cultures and behaviors from person to person using imitation.
The origin of the word can be found somewhere in the 1970s. Like many other English words, it has some Greek origins. In the Internet age, this word now refers to the distribution of images, texts or videos with some creative variations that create humor. We recommend that you use ‘memes’ responsibly and consume in good humor. The word ‘memes’ made its way into the English dictionary in 2001; very matured by many standards.
We hope you’ve enjoyed looking at the meanings used by new words when making their way from the Internet into the dictionary. Who knows what will happen in the coming decades, the English language may involve a completely new dialect. This is why attempting to resist these words is a lot like expecting a wave to behave just because we have told it to do so.
Phew, so now that we’ve explored some of the new words in our ‘Words Originating From the Internet Into The Dictionary’ article you should be feeling a lot more confident since you know where and how they came about. If you have found this interesting, there are always new expressions that are surfacing via the Internet. Perhaps one day you will have created one of them, who knows!?
This article was written by Jacob Quigley, currently working for EssayHub.com. For more articles written by Jacob or of similar value visit here.