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Merriam-Webster adds ‘selfie,’ more to dictionary

Merriam-Webster relies on a network of observers who track down word usage. Three or four senior editors make the final selections.

By: Associated Press | New York |
May 19, 2014 11:00:50 am
Many of the words and terms relate to digital life and social media _ spoiler alert, hashtag and tweep _ while others are food-driven. Many of the words and terms relate to digital life and social media _ spoiler alert, hashtag and tweep _ while others are food-driven.

The latest edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary has added 150 new words, from “selfie” to  “poutine.”
Many of the words and terms relate to digital life and social media _ spoiler alert, hashtag and tweep _ while others are food-driven, including the Vietnamese staple pho and turducken, a boneless chicken stuffed into a boneless duck stuffed into a boneless turkey.

Merriam-Webster relies on a network of observers who track down word usage. Three or four senior editors make the final selections.

E-waste made it into the update. So did e freegan, one who scavenges for free food in store and restaurant trash bins as a way to reduce consumption of resources.

Other new words in the Merriam-Webster Collegiate, along with the lookup database at Merriam-webster.com:

Poutine, a French Canadian snack or side dish of french fries covered with brown gravy and cheese curds; steampunk, a literary genre with dress-up followers that mashes up 19th-century Victorian or Edwardian societies with steam-powered technology; unfriend, which joins defriend; and hot spot, a place where Wi-Fi is available.

And still more: crowdfunding, big data, baby bump, digital divide, dubstep, fangirl and gamification, the process of adding game-like elements to something to encourage participation.

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