Five 2021 dictionary additions internet users should know

Posted on October 15, 2021

 

Tomorrow is Dictionary Day, and did you know that thousands of words are added to the dictionary every year?

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) website has an Updates page where you can scour through all the quarterly updates the dictionary has undergone dating back to 2000. Language is a living and evolving concept, so it’s no surprise that it changes as we undergo societal, and of course technological, shifts.

The below five words have had entries added for them since the start of this year, and reflect how we use the internet and social media in 2021. Some seem familiar and you would think they would have been added long ago, while others might leave you scratching your head a little more:

1. Livestream

Surprisingly, this commonly heard term was only added to the OED in March this year. A noun or a verb relating to live broadcasts over the internet, it was joined by the addition of “livestreaming” as a noun or adjective last month.

2. Virtual assistant

You’ll see one of these pop up when you visit many of today’s websites, especially business ones. It’s a tool designed to answer simple questions visitors might have without the need for human input.

3. Doxing

Representing the darker side of the web, to “dox” someone is to research sensitive information about someone and publish it online. Hackers might do this either to shame someone or extort money from them.

4. Ghosting

To “ghost” someone is to ignore their messages, usually on social media.

5. Mute

Lastly, with “you’re on mute” being perhaps the phrase of the last year and a half, “mute” now has a new definition – to turn the volume off a person’s microphone on video streaming platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

In digital marketing, it’s important to keep on top of the latest buzzwords, but also to remember that not everyone might know what they mean. That’s why we make “Our Industry, Your Language” our motto at Engage Web. Speak to us today if you would like to know what we can do for your website, without the jargon.

Content Team Leader at Engage Web
John works for Engage Web as a Content Team Leader and regularly contributes to the website and programmes of his beloved Chester F.C.
John Murray
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