As modern dictionaries are descriptive they need to incorporate "teenage slang" so the rest of us have a reference source. Lexicographers have to make decisions about which words are in common use with a wide enough audience to ensure the rest of us can keep up. They can't make judgements about whether a word is good or bad - which is sometimes disappointing with inclusions such as "amazeballs" - but instead they have to record the nuances of our language without prejudice. They also have to decide when is the right time to include new vocabulary as a word may seem popular for a short while and then drop out of use. Or its use may be regional and then not grow wider before fading into obscurity.
The Urban Dictionary has new words and phrases added daily and users vote on whether the description is good. I particularly like the example sentences using the new word which is often rude but also entertaining.
It seems online dictionaries are often used as a test to see if words continue to be frequently used before making it into the print version.
Collins took to twitter to get votes for which new words to add. "Adorkable" was the #Twictionary winner although I've still, thankfully, never heard that used.
The internet and technology do bring more new vocabulary opportunities every day. The recent updates to Oxford Dictionaries includes subtweet, clickbait and below the line.
A quick look at my social media timelines today and I've seen phrases that are not yet listed in any dictionary:
- concrete dinosaur - ugly old concrete building
- workversary - work anniversary
- cakequake - eating so many sugary cakes you have the shakes
What words do you think should or shouldn't be added to the dictionary?