Writing • Editing • Solutions

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Vocabulary Building and Twerking

Is "twerking" in your dictionary?

Is “twerking” in your dictionary?

Despite one’s feelings about Miley Cyrus’s VMA performance, you gotta admit one thing. She taught the word “twerk” to million of people who previously might have merely called it “booty-shaking.” And building one’s vocabulary is a good thing, right?

When I was a kid, I used to literally read the dictionary. Giving myself the goal of studying at least one page a day, I would carefully circle the words I didn’t know or couldn’t pronounce. I zeroed in on good, solid words: “galleon,” “kismet,” “mallet.” Then I would write the words out and practice using them in a sentence. In this way, I built my vocabulary.

Here are some words that weren’t in my dictionary back then, but are in the latest Oxford Dictionaries Online: “baddassery,” “selfie,” and “twerk.”

As this Time Newfeed article explains, if a word makes it into the ODO, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll find it in the venerable Oxford English Dictionary. Still, it means the word has become mainstream enough to accept it as, uh, a word.

As I looked over other recent additions to ODO — such as “BYOD,” “FOMO,” and “jorts ” — I realized that my vocabulary is falling dangerously behind the times. I may have to assign myself a little homework and practice using them in a sentence.

What are your favorite new words?

By Maryann Hammers

Think Miley made twerking famous? Nope. Meet the King of Twerk.

2 comments on “Vocabulary Building and Twerking

  1. Kris Phan
    September 19, 2013

    I like this entry very much and “Huahuasoreass” is what I used to address my stubborn Chihuahua. =P

    • Maryann Hammers
      September 19, 2013

      I’m trying to pronounce that . . . without success. Which is why my cat is simply named Pepe.

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