The latest edition of Collins English Dictionary is out, and some the new 50,000 new words added include adorkable, photobomb, meme, Bitcoin, and twerking — among others. According to Collins, the definition of adorkable is: “socially inept or unfashionable in a charming or endearing way.” And if you were wondering how a word like “adorkable” makes it into the dictionary in the first place — well, by winning the most votes in a Twitter contest. Obviously.
The London Evening Standard reported on the process recently:
The hunt for a new word saw Collins asking members of the public to submit their choices, with its lexicographers then analysing the contenders against the “Collins corpus”, a database of more than 4.5bn words and definitions which is updated daily, and against Twitter, to determine their usage levels. The dictionary said that “using Twitter data alongside our corpus is a natural extension of our established process”.
The Twitter community was then asked to vote on which one would be included in the 12th printed edition of the Collins English dictionary, with contenders ranging from “fatberg” (defined as “a large mass of solid waste, grease, etc, clogging a sewage system”), to “duckface” (“the traditional ‘pouting’ facial expression in selfies”), and “fracktivist” (“an activist who protests against fracking”).
Collins English Dictionary using Twitter data as a natural extension of their established process? I believe this would be the eighth undeniable sign that Mike Judge’s Idiocracy is nearly upon us.