Speed Reads

interesting choice of words

'Selfie,' 'hashtag,' and 'fracking' among the latest words added to dictionary

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With new entries like "hashtag," "selfie," "unfriend," and "tweep," it may seem like the update of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary's 11th edition was spearheaded by a middle schooler. In fact, it takes a dedicated team of observers to find frequently used words out in the world and some senior editors to decide what makes the cut.

On Monday, Merriam-Webster announced the addition of 150 new words to its flagship dictionary, The Associated Press reports. At least one is rather obscure: "Yoopers," a nickname for native and longtime residents of the Michigan's Upper Peninsula, near Lake Superior. "People up here, we really do have our own identity and our own culture," Steve Parks, a Yooper who fought to get the word in the dictionary, told The Associated Press. "We're a really hardy bunch.... You have to be very resilient to live up here."

Other new terms in the update include "fracking," "hotspot," "e-waste," "spoiler alert," "dubstep," and "baby bump." Merriam-Webster didn't add these words for the sake of sounding hip, insists editor at large Peter Sokolowski. "One of the most important things we have to watch is the trendiness of language, so we don't want to put a word in that will then have to come out," he told the AP. "We want to make sure a word is here to stay."