March 29, 2011 § 2 Comments

If anyone has a legitimate claim over authority to have the last word, it’s got to be the Oxford English Dictionary, aka the OED to English word afficianados everywhere. The OED is recognized as being the authoritative source for what is and is not an actual English word (as any accomplished Scrabble fan can tell you).

When one thinks dictionary, however, one may think stuffy, hidebound, behind the times, snooty, pompous.  After all, dictionariologists are ivory-tower academicians far removed from the slangy stew that we here in the real world actually speak, right?

Au contraire, mon frère (as George Carlin used to say).  The OED is updated almost continuously, as I recently discovered.  You can read updates weekly.  Yes, weekly.  Here is the latest update page; check it out for yourself.

It seems that the OED, in its never-ending quest to remain both authoritative and relevant is constantly prowling around, sniffing through pop culture and its detritus, detecting newly acceptable entrants into our ever-expanding language.

This particular update includes newly-recognized words (really initialisms): OMG (Oh my God, or gosh or goodness), LOL (laughing out loud), FYI (For your info), IMHO (in my humble opinion), TMI (too much info) and BFF (best friends forever), all from the internet.  And here’s a stunning addition: ♥, as in “I♥NY.”

A few other neologisms of interest:  La-La land; non-dom (non-domiciled); fabless (great word meaning the opposite of fabulous); muffin top (as in waistline flab); dotted line (think organizational chart, not legal document); happy camper; and lumpenintelligentsia (faux German for what I am not sure).  There are others.

I am bringing these to your attention for the possibilities they open to spice up your appellate briefs and pleadings.  Imagine what this new infusion of vocabalury would add to even the most prosaic pleadings.  Take, for example, this paragraph of an Answer to a Complaint for Divorce:

In answer to Paragraph 6 charging him with habitual cruel and inhuman treatment, defendant can only say OMG, she must have been in la-la land when she dreamed that up!  FYI the defendant has never manhandled or even been rude to plaintiff, except for one heated argument about whether or not she had developed a muffin-top.  Affirmatively, defendant would show that he is not a happy camper due to these charges, even though the relationship was pretty much fabless, defendant has nonethess ♥’d the plaintiff with all his ♥ and truly believed that he and the plaintiff were BFF.  He also objects to this airing of the parties’ private business in these pleadings and resulting discovery as TMI.

How could any court frown on such a masterpiece of the language, bearing as it does the stamp of approval of the esteemed OED?

The possibilities appear endless, what with regular updates that literally ladle scoops of delicious new words onto your plate every week.

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§ 2 Responses to OMG, FYI IT’S IN THE OED, LOL! I ♥ IT! OOPS, TMI?

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