Oxford Dictionary Too Cool for School, Now Recognizes LOL, OMG, and FYI

Paul Lilly

Listen up all you grade school students hammering out book reports and term papers. If you try and casually sneak the acronyms "OMG," "FYI," and "LOL" into your work, they're going to get circled with a big red pen and possibly annotated with "WTF were you thinking?" You can try explaining to your teacher that these popular forms of Web-speak of now recognized by the Oxford English Dictionary, but trust us, you're going to get marked down anyway.

The Oxford English Dictionary just added the above mentioned acronyms to the online edition's initialisms category with the explanation that they are "strongly associated with the language of electronic communication." They join other similar entries, such as "IMHO," "TMI," and "BFF."

"Many people would consider these recent coinages, from the last 10 or 20 years, and associate them with a younger generation conversant with all forms of digital communications," OED explains. "As is often the case, OED’s research has revealed some unexpected historical perspectives: our first quotation for OMG is from a personal letter from 1917; the letters LOL had a previous life, starting in 1960, denoting an elderly woman (or ‘little old lady’; see LOL n./1); and the entry for FYI [FYI phr., adj., and n.], for example, shows it originated in the language of memoranda in 1941."

You can view OED's entire list of new words here .

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