Our English language is always changing. New words are born, former slang words become generally accepted, and other words simply slip away from disuse. For instance, when was the last time you heard someone call that place with airplanes and runways, an "aerodrome?" Other changes to our language include the addition of new meanings and definitions for established words. Have you noticed, for example how the word "literally," has practically become the same as "figuratively?"
In its annual update, the leading online dictionary, Dictionary.com just added 19 new words. You've probably already come across at least some of them online. In fact, I've even told you about some of them before, like "dark web." Most of them relate to the Internet in some way, shape or form. How many out of the 19 have you heard of?
Here's the list of words and their official definitions added to Dictionary.com:
- agender: relating to a person who does not have a specific gender identity or recognizable gender expression.
- basic: characterized by predictable or unoriginal style, interests, or behavior.
- bigender: relating to a person who has two gender identities or some combination of both.
- black hat: a hacker who violates the security of a system for personal profit or for the gratification of causing damage.
- completionist: a player who attempts to complete every challenge and earn every achievement or trophy in a video game.
- crash blossom: an ambiguously worded headline whose meaning can be interpreted in the wrong way, as “Missing Woman Remains Found.”
- dark web: the portion of the Internet that is intentionally hidden from search engines, uses masked IP addresses, and is accessible only with a special web browser.
- dox: to publish the private personal information of (another person) without the consent of that individual.
- esports: competitive tournaments of video games.
- gender-fluid: relating to a person whose gender identity or gender expression is not fixed and shifts over time or depending on the situation.
- gesture: a particular movement of the fingers or hand over a screen, used to control or interact with a digital device.
- haptics: the study or use of tactile sensations and the sense of touch as a method of interacting with computers and electronic devices.
- hyperlocal: focused on a very small geographical community, as a neighborhood.
- lifehack: a tip, trick, or efficient method for doing or managing a day-to-day task or activity.
- microaggression: a subtle but offensive comment or action directed at a minority or other nondominant group that is often unintentional or unconsciously reinforces a stereotype.
- permadeath: (in a game, often a video game) the permanent death of a defeated character, after which the player of the game cannot continue with the same character.
- ship: to take an interest in a romantic relationship between fictional characters or famous people.
- slacktivism: actions taken to bring about political or social change but requiring only minimal commitment, effort, or risk: students engaging in slacktivism by signing an online petition.
- smartwatch: a computing device that resembles a wristwatch and is attached to a band worn around the wrist.
So how many of these words have you heard of? Let me know by posting in the comments below.