Net speak makes Oxford English Dictionary

Don't get your chuddies in a twist, it's a living, breathing language

The new edition of the Oxford English Dictionary includes 62 new words representing the changes in our culture in the last year. And, appropriately, many of them are to do with the Internet.

That's why you'll find obvious ones such as e-commerce, cybersquatting and dot-com among the other fine words of the English language (personal favourites at Vulture Central: lozenge, obstreperous, moist, winkle).

But it goes further than that with e-tailer, WAP phones, webcam, and XML all joining in, confirming what we all knew anyway - that the Internet is having a massive cultural effect. Then there were the IT-based words we'd never heard of: a screenager is a Web/computer-obsessed teenager, and meatspace apparently is "computing the physical world as opposed to cyberspace" (?).

More great words we'd never heard of: blipvert: a very short TV ad, pre-loved: second-hand, gaydar: a gay man's ability to pick out another gay man - gay radar presumably, breatharian: someone who believes they can exist on air alone (eh? I reckon there'll be a short lifespan on this one. Boom boom), and our favourite - chuddies meaning pants (meaning underpants, jockeys for our American readers).

This word apparently stems from the Indian comedy series in the UK Goodness Gracious Me!. We love the show but obviously missed out on the cultural reference.

It all goes to show that English is still the greatest language in the world, even if every year there are more words that don't register. ®

PS Okay, okay "blipvert" came from Max Headroom (30 seconds of commercial squashed into one second, causing fat people to explode). We had been trying to erase it from our minds. So now please stop sending us emails.

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