'Hashtag,' 'selfie,' and 'tweep' join Merriam-Webster dictionary

Words reflect influence that tech, especially social networking, is having on our culture, says storied dictionary.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Tech terms continue to wend their way into the dictionary.

"Hashtag," "selfie," and "tweep" are just three of the latest words recently added to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Merriam-Webster announced on Monday. The new words have already popped up in the online edition and will join the print version as well.

Other tech terms that are now part of the club include "crowdfunding," "big data," "gamification," and "steampunk."

Merriam-Webster has also added "catfish" to the list. In addition to describing the actual fish, "catfish" refers to a "person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes." The word came into play following a documentary and MTV TV series as well as the bizarre hoax perpetrated against football player Manti Te'o involving a nonexistent online girlfriend.

"So many of these new words show the impact of online connectivity to our lives and livelihoods," Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster, said in a statement. "Tweep, selfie, and hashtag refer to the ways we communicate and share as individuals. Words like crowdfunding, gamification, and big data show that the Internet has changed business in profound ways."

(Via All Twitter)

Tech Culture
About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.


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