OPINION: The backward evolution of English
Jonathan McCollough | Staff Writer
Awesomesauce, bruh, butthurt, manspreading and mkay are just a few of the latest additions to the Oxford Dictionary, and I’m a little butthurt about it.
The English language is constantly evolving, and it makes sense that the Oxford Dictionary would recognize new words and slang in order to keep up with the times, but adding slang like “beer o’clock” is not only degrading to the language but also to the reputation of the Oxford Dictionary.
According to Oxford University Press, the new words were added because they represent newer terms judged most significant and likely to stand the test of time. This basically means that if society uses a word enough, it gets added to the dictionary.
This might not seem like a big deal, but it’s literally killing me, and my use of literally was actually correct according to the Oxford dictionary. The word literally was used incorrectly so many times that the Oxford Dictionary give it a second definition:
informal Used for emphasis or to express strong feeling while not being literally true: I have received literally thousands of letters.
Changes like this are slowly eroding the English language, and as more and more slang is added to the dictionary, it blurs the line between what language should be used in a professional environment and what should be used when talking to friends. If the trend of adding slang to the dictionary continues it will create the perception that certain words are more formal than they really are, creating situations where people unknowingly say things that aren’t appropriate in their given environment and potentially just making people seem dumb.
I’m sorry, Oxford, but the latest additions to your dictionary are “weak sauce.”