LOL, OMG Makes It To The OED
The OED is including the popular acronyms, LOL and OMG, that are expressions associated with with the ‘language of electronic communications’.
Commonly used in email, internet forums, tweets and text messages, OMG, which stands for ‘Oh My God’ or ‘Gosh’, and LOL, which means ‘Laughing Out Loud’, are the latest electronic abbreviations to be included into the OED’s online edition.
The dictionary previously included ‘IMHO’ (In my Humble Opinion) TMI (Too Much Information) and BFF (Best Friends Forever).
OED says the acronyms, or ‘initialisms’ are “quicker to type than the full forms”, and, in the case of text messages, or Twitter, help to say more in media where is a limit to the number of characters one may use in a single message.
Although the coinage is associated with the younger generation, the first quotation for OMG was actually found in a personal letter from Admiral John Arbuthnot Fisher of the British Navy.
He wrote in a letter to Winston Churchill: “I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the tapis – O.M.G. (Oh! My god!) – Shower it on the Admiralty.”
And the acronym LOL also had a previous life denoting an elderly woman, or Little Old Lady.
Such is the effect of the internet on language, that even the OED has fallen victim to its clutches.
In August last year, Oxford University Press, the publishers of the OED said that its third edition, known as OED3, on which a team of 80 lexicographers had been working for the last 21 years, would probably only appear in electronic form.
The current OED, which has been online for more than a decade, received two million hits a month from its subscribers, who pay an annual fee of Â£240 ($375).