Kodie Roberts thinks some of the latest new words and phrases should stay on social networking sites and not in the dictionary.
Kodie Roberts thinks some of the latest new words and phrases should stay on social networking sites and not in the dictionary. CHRIS ISON CI

No plans to 'unfriend' her books

KODIE Roberts might enjoy saying “TTYL” to her friends on Facebook, but when it comes to the real world she still loves a good, traditional book.

The 15-year-old said yesterday that although she had heard of “intexticated”, “sexting” and “unfriend”, she still loves reading traditional writing and wonders why such words are being added into the dictionary.

Both the Oxford English and Macquarie Dictionaries have published a list of new words which will be added to the latest editions.

Among the list are such words as buzzkill, butterface, staycation and tweet (see meanings right).

CQUniversity’s academic learning support teacher, Dr Geoff Danaher, said the new words reflected the fact that our culture was becoming more complicated.

And he said it seemed to be driven by the younger generation and new technologies.

Social networking sites Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Bebo have all helped shape this new language.

Yesterday Kodie said she was a member of three of the networking sites.

She checks her pages daily, but says the new words are becoming a bit too much.

“I find it hard to keep up with the terminology,” she said yesterday from the Rockhampton Library.

“Things such as LOL (laugh out loud), OMG (oh my God) and TTYL (talk to you later) are popular; I’ve also heard people use intexticated.”

Kodie, who is studying to be a hairdresser this year, said when she’s away from the computer she enjoyed reading novels like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Dr Danaher said the English language was always evolving and had never been completely “pure” with words borrowed from all over the world – like “karaoke” from Japanese.

“I think the English language is becoming more complex as new words come about,” he said.

“But even though they are used in everyday life, there is still a yearning for traditional writing.”

Dr Danaher, who is also a qualified English teacher, said these slang-type words were more often spoken than put into writing and he would hate to see them come into academic assignments.

“However, I think these words will become part of assignments eventually, but putting text talk into them would be taking it too far,” he said.

“We need to maintain a certain standard and I think there is a need to learn our traditional language. There is still interest in popular Jane Austin novels as her traditional language is appealing.”


New words to be added into the Macquarie Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary from 2009:

Tweet: To post a message on the social network site Twitter.

Butterface: A woman viewed as attractive in every respect but her face.

Buzzkill: Someone or something that has the effect of dampening excitement or enthusiasm.

Unfriend: The act of scratching a contact from Facebook.

Sexting: The act of sending sexually explicit text and pictures via a mobile phone.

Intexticated: To be distracted while texting on a mobile while driving.

Staycation: Choosing to stay at home during holidays.

Brain fade: A momentary mental lapse.

Cyberbully: A person who bullies another using email, chat rooms, social network sites, etc.

Fauxhawk: A hairstyle in which hair on top of the head is combed and gelled to resemble a small mohawk, but the sides of the head are not shaved.

Media punking: Tricking of the media into believing a false story.

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