The last time you wanted to vent about your family or co-workers within the space of 140 characters, you didn’t “submit a post to the microblogging service known as Twitter.” You tweeted.
Pop culture today associates tweeting less with chirping birds and more with social networking and so the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) will officially recognize it in its June 2013 update.
John Simpson, chief editor of the OED, made the announcement on the dictionary’s website, buried beneath several paragraphs talking about the word “head.” He says that including the new definition of tweet “breaks at least one OED rule, namely that a new word needs to be current for 10 years before consideration for inclusion.”
The OED attributes the first use of “tweeting” back to 2007. On March 15, 2007 on the now defunct blog NevOn, the blogger posted, “Not much chance to tweet on Twitter, especially since it seems that SMS posting from my mobile phone doesn’t work.” It was the land before smartphones, when Twitter users had to rely on text messaging to broadcast their thoughts.
Strangely enough, this isn’t Twitter’s first appearance in the OED, since “retweet“ was added to the dictionary in 2011. Also strange is the fact that the OED Twitter account made no mention that they would be including the new definition of tweet. The OED is also a bit behind competitor the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which added the word “tweet” in August 2011.
Other words that have made their way into the OED’s latest update? “Flash mob,” “geekery,” and “live-blogging” and “e-reader.” Check out the full list of new words here.