‘Tweet’ Now an Official Word in Oxford English Dictionary


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NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The last time you wanted to vent about your family or co-workers within the space of 140 characters, you didn’t “submit a post to the microblogging service known as Twitter.” You tweeted.

These days, pop culture associates the act of tweeting less with chirping birds and more with social networking. Now the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) will officially recognize the word “tweet” in its June 2013 update.

John Simpson, chief editor of the OED, made the announcement on the dictionary’s website. He says that including the new definition of tweet “breaks at least one OED rule, namely that a new word needs to be current for 10 years before consideration for inclusion.”

The OED attributes the first use of “tweeting” back to 2007. On March 15, 2007 on the now defunct blog NevOn, the blogger posted, “Not much chance to tweet on Twitter, especially since it seems that SMS posting from my mobile phone doesn’t work.” It was the land before smartphones, when Twitter users had to rely on text messaging to broadcast their thoughts.

This isn’t Twitter’s first appearance in the OED; “retweet” was added to the dictionary in 2011.

The OED is a bit behind competitor the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which added the word “tweet” in August 2011.

Other words that have made their way into the OED’s latest update? “Flash mob,” “geekery,” “live-blogging,” and “e-reader.”

Check out the full list of new words here.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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