Now I should start by saying that I am not an English Nerd. Before writing on The Internet, I was all science, all the time. I had (have) grand plans of going BACK to science as soon as humanly possible. I’ve not taken more English classes than the minimum required to receive my diploma, because, well, I’d rather poke out my eyeballs than read anything Jane Austen ever wrote.

Let’s be honest. Read anything I’ve ever written and you’ll see that blogging is free publishing for a reason: anyone can do it.

That said, I’ve clearly turned into an Old Fart. When I heard that Oxford English Dictionary had added text-speak to it’s formidable definitions, I got Furious George.



At the end of March, nine hundred words were added to the famous, respectable Oxford English Dictionary. Including “LOL,” which, for those of you living under a rock, means “laughing out loud.” According to justifications by the Dictionary Maker People, LOL is okay to add because it once stood for “little old lady.” RIGHT, Oxford English Dictionary People, play the Little Old Lady Card so I can’t call you out on your bullshit. Who can POSSIBLY be angry at a Little Old Lady?

This blogger. Right here.

See, Oxford English Dictionary Makers, I see nonsense text-crap like “LOL” and “OMG” and those weird heart symbols all over the place. They annoy me. More than mayonnaise. Rather than stand united in our hatred of pointless acronyms like I’d expect, you bowed down and added A HEART SYMBOL (that I can never properly make which is part of the reason I hate it) TO THE DICTIONARY.

This is not okay.

First we have to accept microblogs like The Twitter and The Tumbler because people “didn’t like to read words,” and now IMHO (“in my honest opinion”) is there, right next to real words like “infarction” and “imbecile.”

Guilt me with your Little Old Ladies all you want; there’s very little that will get me off your ass for this disgusting, horrifying mutilation of the English Language, Oxford English Dictionary.

Unless, of course, you add me to the dictionary, too, under “full of the awesome.” Then we’ll be BFF again.

84 thoughts on “OMFG. WTF. BBQ. Oxford English Dictionary Tries To Justify Adding LOL To The Dictionary.

  1. Thank you! I’m glad to see that I’m not the only person hating on Oxford English Dictionary over this. I think they should have to change the name to the Oxford Big Book of Words, Acronyms, and Symbols.

  2. I LOVE this! I almost put a heart in there but I didn’t want you to be pissed at me (by the way, here’s how you make it: you type in the symbol < and right next to it, the number 3).

    I am a word lover and I am breaking out in hives over this crap! I couldn't have said it better. Please be prepared for a high traffic day as I am about to send your blog viral (to all 15 of my friends! ;-). I am going to google the details of this insanity because part of me refuses to believe that a symbol is now in the dictionary.

    Good day to you, kind lady!

  3. YARP!!!! (aka Dead Poets Society)

    I’m with you. I went all pissy bitch when I saw. I think I ranted about it for two days to anyone who would listen.

  4. Absolutely love the title of this post! It grabbed me right from Twitter. I had to know. WTF what?! I am an English geek. I asked for the OED for my 18th birthday. No, I didn’t get it, or a date to the prom either… Hmmm. You make me smile when you rant and go all shrill. It’s such a tonal juxtaposition to gardening and your posts about your babies. xo

  5. Things that make me sigh – not in the good way. At this rate nothing is ever going to make me sigh in the good way again.

    Oh Oxford, what has become of you?

  6. Yay for English Nerds!
    I hadn’t heard about LOL – but what about words like “ginormous” or “chillax”? Those kind of words drive me a little nuts. My (younger, male) coworkers know this, so they use them constantly. I tell them to get off my lawn. 🙂

  7. Even better, I love (much sarcasm) how the OED refers to these things as “initialisms.” (and somehow that makes them words or word-like enough?)

    At least they had the sense not to include DH, DS, or DD. Yet.

    1. I always like to comment on DS, DD, and DH threads and depending on my mood I alternate between You let your daughter drink? Drinking daughter? Why do you let your daughter get drunk? She does it enough to be called your Drunk Daughter? (Or I say the first D means Dumb) Not too original but it makes me feel better.

  8. While that might be disturbing to grammar Nazis and word nerds, nothing is as blasphemous as adding those same “words” to the official Scrabble Dictionary! When you play full-contact, in your face Scrabble like my wife and I play (and I say “play” as if it’s somehow fun… when in actuality it’s more like combat) the thought of such crap being counted as a legal word on a triple-word score space is enough to make us froth!

  9. Maybe this is a GOOD idea (wait, let me finish before you throw something at me). I mean, I have no idea what half of those abbreviations mean and since – someday- I’ll be a mother of a teenager I need someplace where I can go to get a definition. See? Makes sense, right?

  10. Yes, Aunt Becky! You are asbolutely right and beautiful too and totally full of the awesome. Dictionaries should be where we can find proper words. Words we want to use when writing a term paper, not crap we peck out into our telephones when drunk. Save that for the Urban Dictionary!

  11. Ha Ha see I have to stop myself from using LOL because I hate it so much I used it so often because I became full of the laze. And now Oxford is applauding this it is horrible. I FEAR for my children’s future. I see the way teenagers text message now days I seriously worry they are having strokes with half the shit they say. I understand none of it. I do not fit in on The Twitter because I can NOT efficiently say what I want in 160 characters or less without shortening words and looking like I too am having a stroke I so not like what is happening to the world. It scares me it honestly does. But I will admit I do use the lazy words WTF and OMG and I am saddened by my laze. But I draw the line at those stupid hearts! Cause I too do not know how to make them, and I still HATE the word EPIC and it’s overuse.

  12. I hate LOL. HATE IT. I seriously still have a tattered piece of paper with all these crappy text speak words on it, that I made my oldest daughter write out for me when she first started texting me this non-sense, so that I knew what the fuck she was talking about when she was texting me.

    I mean seriously, ROTFL? Who Rolls On The Floor Laughing anyway?

    No one.

  13. Oh, man. I thought IMHO was In My HUMBLE Opinion…these acronyms are obviously doomed to failure when they’re already this inconsistent. Or maybe it stands for Invalids, Muffins, Hugs n’ Oldfolk…you can’t fight these precious things, so it goes into the dictionary!

  14. I wholeheartedly agree with you Aunt Becky… but then, I’m the person who spells out all their words, even in text messages. I guess I’m the old fart. Oh well.

    1. Oh, and if they are going to put it in the dictionary, they should at least make a disclaimer before the “definition” that reads something like “A non-standard variant, commonly used by illiterate and/or youth while sending text messages”. Just sayin.

  15. Huh. I always thought it was “In My Humble Opinion.” Whatever.

    I will admit that I do use a bunch of those acronyms, but I will also admit that I used them back before texting existed. I am that old. In spite of that, I still refuse to type U R, UR, gr8, l8 or any of that crap.

    And I don’t think any of it should be added to a proper English Dictionary.

    1. I always ALWAYS get confused when people use “FWIW” on me… (for what it’s worth) Ive wasted hours of my life trying to decipher what the hell that one was, and finally had to ask. FWIW, you don’t need to reduce EVERYTHING to acronyms.

        1. If you’re serious about ROTFLMAO it is:

          Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off

          I suck at determining intent in type, so if that was sarcasm or something, ignore my reply

  16. Acronyms don’t bug me in Twitter, texting or (is anyone still using this?) im-ing. It bugs me in emails. And on blogs. You don’t need to add LOL for me to know it’s funny. Because then I know it’s not. Geez.

  17. wait wait wait… they added THIS HEART SYMBOL <3 to the dictionary too? I am saddened by this. it breaks my birthday-hat-wearing-butt. I mean, "heart"

  18. This is not a bad thing, some people need to know what these abbreviations mean before using them. Once on the Facebook someone wrote that a family member had passed away and my sister comments “sorry, lol”. I asked my sis “do you even know what lol stands for” she replied “lots of love”.

  19. This is one of the topics I plan to cover in my new found digs. I will tell you that the reason I believe myself insane is because I am watching this dumbing down going on. And I am starting to believe it’s me.

    I mean, it can’t be the rest of the world can it? Pretty soon we won’t have words any longer, we will speak in Acronyms.

    And my old man thought that I was the instant generation…He obviously doesn’t spend all that much time with his grandchildren….

    1. I’m an old fart who likes *the phone* rather than email. You wanna talk? CALL ME. It’ll take five minutes. Emailing goes back and forth and gets nowhere.

      Now, get those fucking kids off my lawn.

  20. A good friend’s father thought, until recently, that LOL meant lots of love. After suffering a heart attack, he sent an email out to family detailing everything and signed it with LOL.

  21. I too had a boss who thought LOL was Lots of Love. He was calling me out on a mistake I made and said “I still think you’re the best though, happens to all of us” I IM’d back (did I mention it was an IM conversation) “LOL, thanks” – He was all “Lots of love”?

  22. While I admit to overusing said acronyms much too often I don’t believe they belong in an English Dictionary. The Queen’s English as my parents would call it shouldn’t hold genre style words

  23. Hi my name is Aubrey and I am an LOL and OMG aholic. I bug myself I use it so much in texts and twitter. I need to figure out better short ways to say things. My son is known to yell out OMG at any given moment he sees something worth noting. I also just learned how to make th <3 but it always looks crooked so it bothers me and I don't use it. Also it took me forever to figure out DH and all that, I thought it was dickhead too. And KWIM. I was all where the hell are they swimming that they have to use a k? duh. I type out everything, I try to anyway. Also I txt way more than I talk it is easier for me when I have 4 kids yelling constantly and besides I can't sit at work and talk on the phone but texting I can do. :)(see I almost did it again! ugh! I suck) Also, I use smileys too much I think I need an intervention. haha

  24. I heard this on the BBC on my way into work one morning and nearly wrecked my car.

    Really, Oxford? REALLY?

    You only admit students called Bernard and Matilda but you’ll validate the existence of such utter laziness and disregard for our language as LOL and IMHO??

    As a side note, I never understood the need for the ‘H’ in IMHO… why would you give your lying opinion? It doesn’t make any sense.

    And if this makes me an old fart, so be it.

    I’m also hot, so…

    silver linings.

    – B x

  25. Old fart here, joining in on the meeting. Using the acronyms is just one more step in this impersonal world. Having the dictionary use them – makes me sad. In no way shape or form am I a grammar goddess, but I think this is one more dumbing down step. *taking my Geritol and passing it on*
    also, as for the ? – I prefer the alt3 heart, b/c the <3 is crooked and my OCD will not allow it. Plus now GingerB has given me the laughs about it, as if the butt I thought it used to look like wasn't bad enough!

  26. I have an engineering degree, and the reason I have an engineering degree is because, in the college, I didn’t like to write (turns out that I’m actually a better-than-decent writer, but I didn’t really believe that until I saw what passed for “writing” in the professional world). I find that I’m fighting a losing battle against the changing of definitions. Enormity is a great word that means, essentially, “ginormously evil.” “The enormity of the holocaust”is an appropriate use of the word. “The enormity of a Jane Austen novel” fits by my definition. But “the enormity of the elephant” doesn’t work, unless said elephant is standing on your foot, I guess.

    I never knew the dictionary was the appropriate place for acronyms, but some confusion over LOL, after the Haiti earthquake:

  27. Now see I am time stamping myself here, but as much as I HATE seeing this crap being put in the dictionary I can still remeber in middle school. (being from the south) getting in trouble every single week for saying “ain’t” And the teachers saying, “SHELLY WRITE AIN’T IS NOT A WORD 1000 TIMES AND HAVE IT TURNED IN FIRST THING IN THE MORNING”

    AND my utter GLEE at them putting AIN’T into the dictionary.
    I suppose my daughters having a similar reaction now. haha

  28. Things that make me Furious George:
    1. People who wait in line to use the self-check out at the grocery store only to get up there and reveal they’ve never used any sort of computer in their lives and are completely baffled by the idea of pressing the large red button saying pay to pay.
    2. Goats. They know what they’ve done.
    3. A day without cheese, or fake cheese products.

  29. I will admit I am guilty of freqently using LOL…IN TEXT MESSAGES!!! I wouldn’t use it in a damn sentence when writing a letter to you…or in a conversation with you. Are you f-ing kidding me?!?! Don’t get me started! The English language is going to poop in an easter basket!

  30. While I vehemently disagree with your thoughts on mayonnaise, I completely agree with this. I loathe text speak, although I am guilty of the very occasional WTF. *ducking as everyone prepares to throw things at me* The most insulting, by far, is <3. That's a symbol! In no way is that a word. Shape up Oxford!

  31. whoa. SYWM is new to me and I’m so excited. I don’t mind the acronyms on Twitter, I have to say. Although I probably need to pay more attention to how frequently I’m using them. Oops.

  32. my child gave birth to my first grandson yesterday. JAXSON.yes with an X. thats his name
    secretly i want to say “why dont you just call him LOL”
    but considering i named both my kids with stripper names,,,granny is keeping her fat trap shut…
    it KILLS me inside though,…

  33. Oh, my, what a good time to discover your blog.
    I salute you. (Except that living under a rock meant I hadn’t heard the ludicrous and disastrous news of the selling out of the O.E.D. to tweens and now I’m seething.)
    Mayo is, in fact, disgusting. Initialisms are not, in fact, words. Your righteous indignation is, in fact, worthy of your being added to the dictionary. Consider it done.

  34. A friend of mine thought LOL stood for “lots of love” and wrote it in a sympathy card. Didn’t go over well, as you can imagine.

  35. See, now I thought IMHO was In My Humble Opinion. Maybe we DO need internet-speak acronyms in the dictionary.

    And I am both English nerd AND wordless Tumblr-er.

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