In keeping with yesterday’s theme, I did a little research on how a word is added to the dictionary. I have to admit, with the advent of “The Urban Dictionary”, I had hoped that the criteria for Oxford and Merriam-Webster would be more stringent. Sadly, the main factor is usage. So we have only ourselves, our children, or the media, to blame when nonsensical, foolish, expressions become official words.
According to the Merriam-Webster website, their editors are constantly scouring newspapers, magazines, books, and, pretty much anything they can get their hands on, searching for new words. They also watch for new uses of existing words. The data or “citations” are loaded into their computer system. The numbers of citations are reviewed for source and consistency in usage.
Friends, my advice is this: if you hear people consistently using words that you find ridiculous, stop them. We have the power to take back our language. Stop the insanity before we are so inundated with ludicrous, meaningless words that we have no idea what anyone is saying. If that doesn’t give you nightmares, nothing will. Sleep well.