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Getting L33t Into the Oxford English Dictionary

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the every-word-on-the-bus dept.

Books 167

arcticstoat writes "A few net-speak acronyms such as LOL and OMG were entered to the Oxford English Dictionary last month, but could we ever see l33t-speak (complete with numbers) or ROFLcopters in the OED? In this interview with OED principal editor Graeme Diamond, he reveals the selection criteria for new words and discusses the potential for words such as 'l33t' to get into the dictionary. 'L33t is obviously a respelling and a contraction [of elite],' says Diamond, 'so it would be a separate entry, and yes it is familiar to me, so I think it's something we would consider for inclusion.'"

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Allow me (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35744494)


l33t

Pronunciation: /e'lE:t/

1.Superior.
eg "Gibb0r m3 j00r l33t ju4r3z!"

Dear $DEITY I hope not (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744518)

It'd be time to give the cockroaches a go when that happens.

Re:Dear $DEITY I hope not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35744662)

how'd you figure that.

dictionary
  [dik-shuh-ner-ee] Show IPA
–noun, plural -aries.
1.
a book containing a selection of the words of a language, usually arranged alphabetically, giving information about their meanings, pronunciations, etymologies, inflected forms, etc., expressed in either the same or another language; lexicon; glossary: a dictionary of English; a Japanese-English dictionary.

OED aim to include all words in popular usage, why not l33t?

Re:Dear $DEITY I hope not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35744710)

I think including l33t in the OED is quite l33t!

I no longer feel guilty ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745446)

" ... 'L33t is obviously a respelling and a contraction [of elite],' says Diamond, 'so it would be a separate entry, and yes it is familiar to me, so I think it's something we would consider for inclusion.'"

On the plus side, I no longer feel guilty about using dictionary.reference.com rather than the Oxford English Dictionary.

Re:I no longer feel guilty ... (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745836)

" ... 'L33t is obviously a respelling and a contraction [of elite],' says Diamond, 'so it would be a separate entry, and yes it is familiar to me, so I think it's something we would consider for inclusion.'"

On the plus side, I no longer feel guilty about using dictionary.reference.com rather than the Oxford English Dictionary.

I hope you're not one of the many /.ers who complains when Wikipedia deletes entries ;-)

Re:Dear $DEITY I hope not (1)

ajs (35943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745684)

It'd be time to give the cockroaches a go when that happens.

As a friend of mine once pointed out: language is not just about communicating information, it's (possibly just as importantly) about hiding it.

More specifically, we modify language in order to identify members of our social groups in ways that those outside of those groups do not understand. As a social group gains dominance, so too do their modifications to the language. Of course, the process of gaining a dominant position in a human society is an inherently contentious one.

This is why the parent post is comparing, favorably, the addition of a modified word that he does not approve of with the extinction of the human race. It's simple primate social dominance behavior (though it does demonstrate a lack of control over one's baser impulses).

Re:Dear $DEITY I hope not (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745790)

We don't stick thieves' cant into the OED.

It's about time for a Final Solution for the Descriptivist Question.

Oh dear God, no. NO. (3, Insightful)

Tolkien (664315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744586)

A series of letters containing numbers doesn't make it a word. "Leet".. retarded but okay. L33t? Wtf is wrong with these people?

Re:Oh dear God, no. NO. (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744614)


I was going to agree with you but then realized your username could be written as 70lk13n and calmed down.

Re:Oh dear God, no. NO. (1)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744728)

I definitely agree here. Just because 'Leet' is commonly written with numeric substitutions more often than many other words doesn't mean it should be put in a dictionary as such. A huge number of words are either commonly or slightly less written such substitutions, abbreviations, and letter order swaps (and not even in the same way for each word).

Listing these would be nearly the equivalent of a dictionary beginning to start listing common misspellings of words too.

Re:Oh dear God, no. NO. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35744768)

Listing these would be nearly the equivalent of a dictionary beginning to start listing common misspellings of words too.

That's exactly what a dictionary does fo. When a "misspelling" becomes sufficiently common they record it as a variant spelling. If it becomes common enough to outweight the "correct" spelling then they list it as the new primary spelling of the word.

Re:Oh dear God, no. NO. (1)

kubernet3s (1954672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745184)

Yes, but they only list a few that people use deliberately, "definately" and "fucken" not counting. And I am assuming we are standardizing spellings, so that any mere phonetic variation does not count.

Of course, this beside the point when attempting to introduce non-letter symbols into the dictionary. Are we supposed to pronounce 1337 phonetically? or as "one thousand three hundred thirty seven" when we see it in context? And do numbers like a million become "loo?" The number "3" is pronounced "three," and blurring the phonetic lines so thoroughly will only lead to confusion.

Re:Oh dear God, no. NO. (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745308)

I suspect you're being facetious. Words in the OED always come with a pronunciation guide, so it will tell you exactly how "1337" should be pronounced, and this doesn't create some new linguistic rule which overwrites all other numeric pronunciation.

Re:Oh dear God, no. NO. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35745358)

And I am assuming we are standardizing spellings, so that any mere phonetic variation does not count.

Who is the "we" that you assume is standardising spellings? The OED records words in use. Its goal isn't to standardise or to diverisfy.

Are we supposed to pronounce 1337 phonetically?

You have really weird ideas about the purpose of a dictionary. The lexicographers at the OED don't "suppose" you to do anything. If they were to include this word (doubtful without much more widespread usage) then they'd include a note on how it's commonly pronounced but they're not in the business of telling you what to do. How you pronounce words is up to you.

The OED isn't attempting to create an ideal language. It's attempting to document one that's in actual use.

Re:Oh dear God, no. NO. (5, Insightful)

AlecC (512609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744932)

If something often appears in written texts, the OED should list it. The idea is that someone encountering an unfamiliar word should be able to use the OED to find what it it means. The OED differs from some other dictionaries in this matter: it is descriptive, not prescriptive. If a word is or was used often enough with a definable meaning in the written corpus, the OED intends to list it.

Re:Oh dear God, no. NO. (1)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745730)

Should also list 'aks' and 'teh' as well?

Re:Oh dear God, no. NO. (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745878)

If they are used intentionally and frequently, and there is a defined meaning, yes. As typos, these to fail my "definable meaning" test.

Re:Oh dear God, no. NO. (2)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744816)

It's my understanding that the OED should reflect the evolving lexicon of English. If L33T is used widely enough I don't see why it shouldn't be added.

Re:Oh dear God, no. NO. (3, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745178)

Precisely, the OED is a record of language, not a guardian of it. You wouldn't normally find slang and contractions in your average dictionary because they are concise, but the full OED includes those things.

Oh dear God, no. NO. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35744828)

This is ridiculous. let's burn the English flag [flagburningworld.com]

Re:Oh dear God, no. NO. (1)

Tim99 (984437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745430)

This is ridiculous. let's burn the English flag [flagburningworld.com]

You do know that the "English Flag" (a red cross of St. George on a white ground) is not on that page? Perhaps the flag that you meant is the Union Flag (or Union Jack) of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland?

Re:Oh dear God, no. NO. (1)

kubernet3s (1954672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745104)

Especially since it's so SUPPOSED to 1337. Jeez

Re:Oh dear God, no. NO. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35745526)

That's what I thought. You'd think Slashdot would know better.

Leet vs L33t (1)

martin_dk (1368035) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745126)

There is a pressure from younger generations towards changing these rules, and this practise is already used by millions.

Eventually counter pressure will fail

Take street art in galleries and museums or skateboarding in public skate parks as example

Also we often honor the origin of words meaning or reason by spelling these words with old or foreign rules.

Re:Leet vs L33t (1)

Tolkien (664315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745610)

I don't want to see "words" with numbers in them in dictionaries in my life time.

Re:Oh dear God, no. NO. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35745148)

You are right, a string of characters is not necessarily a word. A word is a word by virtue of semantic content, l33t certainly has semantic content. You appear to be arguing with the spelling. Unfortunately for you people spell it l33t, and in the particular context it is used and with connotations it carries no reasonably sized group of people has ever spelled it otherwise. As a practical matter, if someone sees l33t written somewhere and they look it up in the dictionary, why should it not be there other than because you don't like how it is spelled? Moreover whether l33t is a word or not in the common language sense is a moot point since dictionaries have never limited themselves to just things that most people consider words; abbreviations, acronyms, and multi word phrases are also defined.

Re:Oh dear God, no. NO. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35745202)

Let none of us assume the arrogant stance that our idea of what should be in the OED is the correct one. Objective criteria are weighed, not personal opinions.

Re:Oh dear God, no. NO. (1)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745212)

How can they include "l33t" when they don't even include "gullible"?

Re:Oh dear God, no. NO. (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745428)

A dictionary is used to look up words when you don't know what they mean.

Imagine somebody encountering the characters "l33t" for the first time. Would they have any idea that the 3's were substitutes for e's?

If you don't know what the word "turnip" means, you go look in the dictionary. If you don't know what the word "l33t" means, you go look in the dictionary. What's the difference?

Re:Oh dear God, no. NO. (1)

Tolkien (664315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745488)

Are the numbers so subtle that you didn't notice them?

Re:Oh dear God, no. NO. (1)

ajs (35943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745826)

"Leet".. retarded but okay.

There's no developmental deficiency (cognitive or otherwise) involved in the creation of contractions. In English, we've often denoted these with apostrophes, but they're not required. Adding new contractions to the language is usually a gradual process, and I'm sure the same will be true for leet... it's been in use for the better part of a generation, now, so it's definitely getting to the point that we should consider it seriously.

L33t? Wtf is wrong with these people?

The OED, contrary to what some may feel about it, isn't an arbiter of language. They record and reflect the language as it has existed in the past, and as it is used in the modern day. They also try to determine the difference between a passing neologism and an actual shift in the language. This isn't always easy, and l33t is a definite edge case that will require some thought, but Google says [google.com] that the "33" spelling is in extremely common use, and was first used at least 16 years ago [google.com] . Adding glyphs to the standard set of letters used in American and British English words is a big step, I admit, and doing so opens a floodgate, but it doesn't help anyone for the OED to ignore that it has happened.

Jesus. (2)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744616)

> yes it is familiar to me, so I think it's something we would consider for inclusion.

And people wonder why I laugh at them when they hold up the OED as a source to be taken seriously.

Re:Jesus. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35744714)

> yes it is familiar to me, so I think it's something we would consider for inclusion.

And people wonder why I laugh at them when they hold up the OED as a source to be taken seriously.

So if you know people wonder then will you explain? The OED sets out to record words that people actually use. He's heard of this word and therefore thinks that it is a word in actual use, not just soemthing made up as an example. So he confirms that it would be considered.

He doesn't say what conclusions would be reached (frnakly it's probably not in widespread enough use at present) but that they'd review it like any other word in use. The OED sets out to be descriptive of the language not prescriptive. They don't have a "do we like spelling words with numbers" test. Why does that make them non-serious?

Re:Jesus. (1)

hengdi (1202709) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744782)

The OED wants to be the recorder of living language, not to set rules in stone for future generations. There's nothing wrong with that.

Re:Jesus. (3, Insightful)

AlecC (512609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744964)

Why do you not take the OED seriously? Do you believe it lists words not in use, or that it gives incorrect definitions.

One thing it does not do, which you may be expecting, is make any judgement about /proper/ usage. It is descriptive, not prescriptive. If you are expecting guidance as to good usage, look elsewhere. But take the OED as a source of actual, as opposed to good, usage.

Re:Jesus. (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745226)

My primary objection is score inflation in scrabble.

Re:Jesus. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35745908)

You can't play "l33t" in Scrabble precisely because of the numbers...

Re:Jesus. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745238)

They wonder because the OED gives the etymology of each term and thus tells you how it is considered appropriate to use by the majority when the term is coined. Have you ever browsed the unabbreviated OED? It's a fantastic journey.

Re:Jesus. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35745250)

Erm, the OED describes the way in which words are used by the people that use them. I fail to see how adding language that is used by a large segment of the population fails to work toward that objective. I remember in school the teacher saying that we couldn't use words that aren't defined in the dictionary. The logically disabled students took this to mean that any words in the dictionary would be okay to use. Many of them never did understand why merely being in the dictionary did not indicate appropriateness to be used in any given context. I guess the people you laugh at are using the OED in this way? That is not the fault of the OED but of the people who misinterpret its purpose.

Re:Jesus. (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745700)

Erm, the OED describes the way in which words are used by the people that use them.

Even better, the OED is a scholarly work that discusses etymology as well. Want to know when 31337 was first used? It would be in the OED entry, along with the origins of the word elite. That's useful information and much more extensively discussed in the OED than in any other dictionary. The OED is an incredible resource.

To paraphrase Ovid, rident stolidi OED.

Slow news day (0)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744626)

Slow news day yields to terrible troll articles.

Etymology (5, Funny)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744654)

Here is the first known use of the term:

Rychard Byschape in his stede Chosyn he wes concorditer And l33t twa yhere bad eftyr.

-- Andrew of Wyntoun, Ðe orygynale cronykil of Scotland c1425

Chaucer approves of this message (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745194)

As yf takyn frome de cantebry teyls.

9r3@ |\|3\/\/ Ph0r Ph3LL0\/\/ L337 $P34|3r$! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35744722)

7|-|15 15 4/\/\4Z1|\|9 |\|3\/\/5, Ph1|\|4LL'/ p30PL3 \/\/|-|0 pR1D3 7|-|3/\/\53L\/35 0|\| 7|-|31R 4B1L17'/ 70 5P34| L337 (4|\| d0 50 \/\/17|-| pR1D3. 0|-| \/\/417 \/\/3 |-|45 |\|0 pR1D3. =(

Re:9r3@ |\|3\/\/ Ph0r Ph3LL0\/\/ L337 $P34|3r$! (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745216)

Eye c4n h4z pR1d3z, nao?!

Re:9r3@ |\|3\/\/ Ph0r Ph3LL0\/\/ L337 $P34|3r$! (1)

the_hellspawn (908071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745270)

Translation to my best ability:
This is amazing news, finally people pride themselves on their ability to speak leet (and do so with pride. oh wait we has no pride. =(

Only took me about 10 minutes or so. LOL!

Re:9r3@ |\|3\/\/ Ph0r Ph3LL0\/\/ L337 $P34|3r$! (1)

wed128 (722152) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745332)

i was able to read it in about a minute. i hate myself.

Re:9r3@ |\|3\/\/ Ph0r Ph3LL0\/\/ L337 $P34|3r$! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745766)

It barely slowed me down from normal reading speed, should I be worried?

Re:9r3@ |\|3\/\/ Ph0r Ph3LL0\/\/ L337 $P34|3r$! (1)

Tolkien (664315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745400)

I'm ashamed to say I read it correctly on the first try within seconds. :(

This is awesome news, finally people who pride themselves on their ability to speak l33t (an[sic] do so with pride. Oh wait we has[sic] no pride. :(

AC forgot to close the parenthesis.

Re:9r3@ |\|3\/\/ Ph0r Ph3LL0\/\/ L337 $P34|3r$! (1)

Tolkien (664315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745410)

omg you're right that says amazing not awesome. Ha, I feel better about myself now!

Re:9r3@ |\|3\/\/ Ph0r Ph3LL0\/\/ L337 $P34|3r$! (1)

Tolkien (664315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745466)

I forgot to correct my first typo (awesome->amazing). Bah.

Re:9r3@ |\|3\/\/ Ph0r Ph3LL0\/\/ L337 $P34|3r$! (1)

Tolkien (664315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745434)

Oh wait, it should be

This is awesome news, finally people who pride themselves on their ability to speak l33t can do so with pride. Oh wait we has[sic] no pride. :(

Re:9r3@ |\|3\/\/ Ph0r Ph3LL0\/\/ L337 $P34|3r$! (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745498)

It's "can do so with pride" - I made the same mistake of thinking it was an opening bracket until I realised there was no closing bracket and it was actually a C (note there's no "d" for it to be "and"). Also, I can't believe I just typed this. I plead extreme boredom.

Re:9r3@ |\|3\/\/ Ph0r Ph3LL0\/\/ L337 $P34|3r$! (1)

allanmackenzie (1254530) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745722)

That was impressive. I can't believe that I can actually read it.

You see.. (1)

HighlySpammable (1546369) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744740)

This is why we can't have nice things.

HAX!!!!! (2)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744796)

Oxford English Dictionary:

l33t adj. 1. elite, highly adept esp. referring to a video game player, 2. worthy of praise
"Dude, the OED put in an entry for l33t! That's some l33t dictionary pwnage!"
-- some Anonymouse Coward on Slashdot

"His crown, a noble emblem of defeat
For those who would make light of being l33t."
--- William Shakespeare

"STFU NOOB, UR JUST JEALOUS CUZ WERE L33T AND U SUCK ASS"
--- sipherot299lol, an anemic 13-year-old about to get a cap in his virtual avatar's ass

This is nonsense (2)

eln (21727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744804)

Anyone who could legitimately be called "l33t" would have hacked the Gibson and added the word to the OED themselves rather than asking for permission.

Re:This is nonsense (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745354)

Ironically, once l33t is in the OED, it's no longer l33t.

Absurd. (2)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744810)

Can't we just have a separate dictionary for slang? Does every stupid fad term have to be added to the dictionary? Who even uses leet anymore?

Apparently Oxford's standards for inclusion of new words is rather low. But then I'm guessing they're desperate to keep themselves relevant.

Re:Absurd. (2)

Happler (895924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745004)

Considering the amount of words in there already that, at one point in their life or another, where considered slang...

no.

Re:Absurd. (3, Insightful)

penguinchris (1020961) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745188)

Two things - first, look at urbandictionary.com. Yes, you can find essentially any slang term there if you already heard it - but you'll get hundreds of alternate definitions, and then there are thousands of terms people have added that are not actually widely used slang. If you were unfamiliar with English slang and tried to use that source, you'd have major problems. That's not to say that a better implementation isn't possible (and there are printed slang dictionaries already that are carefully edited), it just illustrates many of the problems in undertaking such a task.

Second, the OED apparently wishes to be a source of information about how the language is actually used - it updates things as meanings change over time. So you can read something written in not-necessarily-the-Queen's-English, probably online, and look up new words and slang and understand them. Other dictionaries don't do this as aggressively. The OED contains *many* slang terms, but only adds them once they've gained demonstrable widespread cultural impact. Whether or not "leet" or "l33t" qualifies is a separate debate, but you have to understand what the OED is trying to do in order to say whether or not such slang should be included at all, and they've already decided that it should be.

I don't generally use much slang, nor do I often consult a dictionary, but I agree that widespread slang belongs in a dictionary of actual English usage and in other respects the OED is certainly a fine dictionary as far as I can tell.

Re:Absurd. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745242)

You do realize that a considerable portion of the dictionary is dedicated to slang and typos, right? I realize that there's a lot of l33t English majors out there that stroke off whenever somebody misspells something, but such people really ought to just go fornicate with some sort of sharp pointy object, and leave the language to those that actually use it.

Re:Absurd. (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745634)

Agreed. It always makes me chuckle to hear people (especially English teachers who should know better) decry the use of slang and yet hark back to Shakespeare as a paragon of the language, despite the fact that, at the time, he riddled his works with slang, and even words he invented, to make them more accessible to the people. Language is primarily about communication, tying ourselves to an archaic set of rules doesn't advance that goal, it's just elitism. Sorry, I really didn't intend the pun!

Not sure if you meant what you actually said.. (1)

valdis (160799) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745860)

What to do.. what to do... English majors having a cardiovascular accident at a misspelling would be "stroking out", but "stroking off" *does* go better with the invitation to go fornicating.

Re:Absurd. (1)

Punto (100573) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745432)

watch this:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/video/0006-slang.htm [merriam-webster.com]

your problem is not the inclusion of slang in the dictionary, it's the inclusion of slang in everyday culture. the dictionary is just there to document it

Re:Absurd. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35745630)

The English language also has pretty low standards for including new words. Seems fitting that a dictionary would mimic this capability, no?

Re:Absurd. (1)

Rogue Haggis Landing (1230830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745772)

I think that we have to remember the theory behind the OED. The OED is an avowedly *descriptive* dictionary. It's goal is to define words as they are or have been used. It is also massive, and attempts to capture as many words as possible, to be definitive about the language, or at least the British version of it. Browse through the OED and you'll find words that are antiquated slang that haven't been used since the 18th century, things like that. "Leet" or "1337" or whatever would seem to fit in there somewhere. Slang is a part of the language -- it gets used, that's really all that the OED cares about.

If you are looking for a *prescriptive* dictionary that will tell you how language *should* be used... well, you're out of luck. All modern English dictionaries claim to be descriptive. American Heritage has its usage panel, that makes recommendations about certain disputed usages, but the recent slang and the common but incorrect (or "incorrect") usages are still in there.

Re:Absurd. (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745926)

Do you know how big the full OED is? It takes up about a whole shelf in a city library. There's thousands of words you and I will never, ever use, so there's plenty of room to document slang.

Why is TFA an image? (1)

complete loony (663508) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744862)

Well I guess if no-one is going to read the article [bit-tech.net] anyway...

Re:Why is TFA an image? (1)

pstils (928424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745278)

very good! thankyou! And it's a bloody interesting read, and that's the reason that l33t should be in there too - this is an historic document; a census of the most commonly used words "in our time" and their history, and anybody that says different is misunderstanding why this document even exists.

bad spelling (2)

MancunianMaskMan (701642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744908)

I thought it's spelt 1337.

OED, get it right

Re:bad spelling (1)

UninformedCoward (1738488) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745330)

Agreed. No respectable gamer spells 1337 w/ letters.

Maybe they should include it (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744918)

If l33t becomes a legitimate word, maybe the people who use it will stop.

Re:Maybe they should include it (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745806)

Inclusion in the OED doesn't "legitimise" a word, it just points to its usage in common language.

Why? (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35744950)

Why do we need these acronyms in the dictionary. It's actually sad that lol and omg are in the dictionary, there not words, there expressions that have become to common in day to day speech. How about we reserve the dictionary for proper words and leave these acronyms to cyber space. Besides the point that any one who uses the word l33t sounds like a complete idiot and wont be taken seriously.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35745118)

Why do we need these acronyms in the dictionary.

Are yous seriously wondering why words like "radar" and "laser" should be included in a dictionary or are you just unclear on the meaning of "acronym"?

Re:Why? (1)

pstils (928424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745388)

Murdoch, adj 1. A statement in which the speaker derides a group of people for possessing a negative attribute, whilst simultaneously proving that he/she also possesses said attribute.

Re:Why? (1)

bentcd (690786) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745218)

How about we reserve the dictionary for proper words and leave these acronyms to cyber space.

"Proper words" are those words that people actually use. If lots of people use "lol" and "omg" as if they were words then they are words and need to be in the dictionary.

Besides the point that any one who uses the word l33t sounds like a complete idiot and wont be taken seriously.

Now you're just starting to sound like a complete idiot and I'm not sure if I should take you seriously. :P

Re:Why? (1)

penguinchris (1020961) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745266)

The point of the OED is that it includes information about how English is actually used, meaning it includes slang and such things. So if you're just learning English, you can consult it while reading someone's poorly written English on the internet and understand fairly well.

Not that you can't easily find definitions for slang and acronyms elsewhere, but the OED is a respected (if not authoritative) source, and when you're learning another language (or just improving your knowledge of your native language) you want to have an authoritative source. Many authoritative sources, second-language courses, etc. don't contain slang, and it's a major hindrance to actually learning practical use of the language, so I applaud their efforts.

Whether or not "l33t" or just "leet" qualifies as important or widespread slang is the real debate, not whether or not slang and widely used acronyms belong in the dictionary in the first place.

Let's add "oed" to the OED... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35745084)

I propose:

to oed (verb, transitive): (vowels pronounced like "ooze") to purposely dilute the integrity of a whole by needless inclusion of crap, especially when done disingenuously for short-sighted profit (see "to dumb down" and "cruft").

Feel free to respond with examples of use. I'd really like to see this word come into common usage.

Re:Let's add "oed" to the OED... (1)

Tolkien (664315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745264)

You could also "noun the verb". As if to say the source is the crap being used to dilute the whole.

Example: "Haha, what an noobtubing OED."

As an adjective: "LOL, that word is so OED.

Re:Let's add "oed" to the OED... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35746140)

You could also "noun the verb". As if to say the source is the crap being used to dilute the whole.

Example: "Haha, what an noobtubing OED."

As an adjective: "LOL, that word is so OED.

I like your suggestion. As an adjective, I'd prefer "oedious."

No leetspeak (1)

brainzach (2032950) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745234)

Leet is fine, but use the actual English spelling

L33t would be like using Igpay Atinlay for the entry of Pig Latin

Re:No leetspeak (1)

carndearg (696084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745482)

Oxford dictionaries are descriptive rather than prescriptive, which is to say they describe how the language is evolving rather than telling people how to use it. They are based on a lot of solid research on a multi-billion-word corpus of contemporary English as well as a huge printed gorpus of the last thousand years plus of written English. Thus if Igpay Atinlay (or any other "odd" word) started to show up significantly in the corpus of contemporary English then yes, it would merit its own entry.

You wouldn't want your tech fossilised in Shakespeare's day, so why would you want your language to have that happen to it?

When can I play OMG and LOL in Scrabble? (1)

ThatMegathronDude (1189203) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745326)

Seriously, I need some ammo to beat my grandmother at Scrabble for once. She's getting pretty old and I'd like to win a few games against her before she kicks it.

Never, unless you use house rules (1)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745778)

Scrabble does not allow acronyms, contractions, etc. Which is a shame, because WTF would be a great play.

Also, if you really want to beat your Grandma, learn strategy. Knowing odd words does help but the chief way to improve is to learn how to make every play (other than the first) build three or four words instead of just one.

Re:When can I play OMG and LOL in Scrabble? (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745960)

Seriously, I need some ammo to beat my grandmother at Scrabble for once. She's getting pretty old and I'd like to win a few games against her before she kicks it.

You can't, as both are marked as abbreviations. (Just like... erm, other pronounceable abbreviations. PAYE? I can't think of anything else right now.)

http://oxforddictionaries.com/ [oxforddictionaries.com] (lol and omg are included.)

lemmatisation (4, Informative)

carndearg (696084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745352)

I'm an OUP employee, I work on http://oxforddictionaries.com/ [oxforddictionaries.com] and I sit just over a partition from the OED team so I guess I'm well placed to comment on this one. For a start, it already is in our dictionaries. http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/leet [oxforddictionaries.com] . Unfortunately though they have lemmatised it (rendered it into its simplest form) as the rather lame-sounding 'leet' rather than '1337'. Hey, give them a break, they're English graduates! This probably has a root in their research. Analysing the corpus to find out how much the word is used, they are probably ignoring numbers because their job is to look for words. This infographic showing our inclusion process might be illuminating: http://oxforddictionaries.com/page/newwordflowchart/how-a-new-word-enters-an-oxford-dictionary [oxforddictionaries.com]

e-33 letters-t? What's that? (1)

Peter (Professor) Fo (956906) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745478)

Never heard of LEET before. But I do know what "internationalisation" is ... normally abbreviated to I18n.

Can we have TWO dictionaries?? (2)

catmistake (814204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745500)

There's the traditional one... and then there's the one for misspelled words, made-up words, internet anachronisms, lolcat and 1337-speak.

Re:Can we have TWO dictionaries?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35745666)

Can you tell me more about those absolute words in the universe that was never made up?

Why? (1)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745726)

Decent dictionaries usually remark that particular entries are considered obsolete, casual, slang, vulgar, regional dialect, etc. Asking them to break out distinct volumes for each (a) insults the intelligence of the dictionary user and (b) asks them to fleece dictionary users by selling multiple volumes when a single volume is sufficient.

Re:Why? (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745862)

Besides, every word in the dictionary was a "made up word" at some point. Who would stand judge of when a word had been around long enough or was in popular enough usage that it should be deemed a proper word?

Re:Can we have TWO dictionaries?? (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745914)

A 'traditional' dictionary has always included entries for misspelled words, made-up words, anachronisms, slang, and dialects. It is a collection of common usage, nothing more and nothing less.

Re:Can we have TWO dictionaries?? (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745946)

No point. Any dictionary worth mentioning, and many that aren't, has notes on the usage of a word. "Slang", "Vulgar", "Archaic" and "Alternate Spelling" are common. Some dictionaries will even note "Regional Dialect", "Technical Jargon", "Pidgin English", and even "Americanism". I don't think it would be that hard for them to add "Internet Slang", "Fictional Language" and "Marketing Speak" to that.

Origins (1)

MtlDty (711230) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745538)

To my memory l33t speak has its roots in the 'hacker' (or more correctly 'cracker') subculture. First started appearing on warez releases which would advertise BBS numbers, sometimes listing the numbers in plain text (for anyone to access) and sometimes listing as 'elite only' (meaning private access)

As time passed 'l33t' started appearing when refering to those with access to the private numbers. It was used sincerely for a short period, but soon turned into a term solely for mockery. 'l33t speak' followed soon after, which as everyone knows is where numbers replace l3tt3r5. l33t speak was to my memory only ever used in mockery, frequently in scorn either by those with access refering to 'lamers' without access, or vice-versa.

Bling Bling. (2)

Xacid (560407) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745542)

I pretty much outright stopped giving a shit about dictionaries the moment one of them added "bling bling" to it. Raise the bar a little, guys. Geez. That's what urbandictionary is for.

Meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35745886)

Reports of Americas rapid decline in education continues to pour in.

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