Dictionary Update: Welcome to English 2.0

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As our software gets updates, so does that old-fashioned gum-flappin’ language we use to describe our techy lives. To that end, Oxford Dictionaries Online has expanded their database, giving us definitions of terms from clickjacking to bloggable.

First, a snippet of the tech-world words coming online:

bandwidth (secondary definition): the energy or mental capacity required to deal with a situation

bounce rate: the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page

clickjacking: the malicious practice of manipulating a website user’s activity by concealing hyperlinks beneath legitimate clickable content, thereby causing the user to perform actions of which they are unaware

feature phone: a mobile phone that incorporates features such as the ability to access the Internet and store and play music but lacks the advanced functionality of a smartphone

onliner: a person who is online; an Internet user

scareware: malicious computer programs designed to trick a user into buying and downloading unnecessary and potentially dangerous software, such as fake antivirus protection

sexting: the sending of sexually explicit photographs or messages via mobile phone

The definition of such words might, especially from the savvy onliner, elicit a reaction of “Well, duh.” But moving the technology sphere and the linguistic sphere together signals that–if there was any doubt left–the electronic world is not a separate one but part of our standard one.

Especially telling are definitions like bandwidth’s secondary one. Rather than describing technology in human-experience terms–like say, a World Wide Web–we’ve come full circle. Now we’re explaining our human experiences in technological terms. As in, “Dude, I don’t have the bandwidth to deal with contemplating the size of the universe.”

Somewhere in the world, people are probably already describing their one-night stands as bounce rates or getting parents to unknowingly sign a permission slip as clickjacking. And it will be self-propelling. As linguist Benjamin Whorf said, “Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about.”

(For a full list of the new terms added, head here.)