Maybe this is an early April Fools’ joke.

“The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of IngSoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible… Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meaning and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods. This was done partly by the invention of new words…”–George Orwell. Nineteen Eighty-Four. Appendix: “The Principles of Newspeak“. 

In other news, “OMG” is now in the dictionary.

I don’t oppose abbreviations like “OMG” or “IMHO”  as such; brevity is, in some media, most valuable. But is it really necessary to put it in the dictionary?  They are just abbreviations for ordinary words, and convey no new meaning themselves.

But perhaps I’m simply a reactionary. What say you? Am I too punctilious about these things?

P.S. I realize it’s something of a cliche to quote Orwell on matters like this. But it’s a cliche because it fits.


  1. Dictionaries reflect the word usage as they come up, there's always fussing when they add things. I remember the fuss about adding the word "ain't"

  2. No. That is, no you are not too punctilious. You may be a reactionary, but I am too so I am not in a good position to absolve you of that sin.OMG is not a word; neither, for that matter, is "ain't". The linguistic authorities should be prescriptive rather than descriptive; otherwise there is no need for their existence, and language is just a sea of ever-shifting sand, and no-one can be sure of being able to get their point across clearly.

What's your stake in this, cowboy?