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I “Heart” Lexicography

By Paperstone on April 12, 2011 in Books & Pads

I heart justin bieberFor the first time in its 127-year history, the Oxford English Dictionary is to receive a graphical entry. The heart emoticon (), most famously popularised by the iconic 1970s “I New York” t-shirt designed by Milton Glaser and now ubiquitous in modern electronic discourses, will have its own entry.

As an OED update explains, “The new sense added to heart v. in this update may be the first English usage to develop via the medium of T-shirts and bumper-stickers. It originated as a humorous reference to logos featuring a picture of a heart as a symbol for the verb love, like that of the famous ‘I ♥ NY’ tourism campaign… From these beginnings, heart v. has gone on to live an existence in more traditional genres of literature as a colloquial synonym for ‘to love’.”

The OED, which itself is now only published online, will also be updated with tech and messaging initialisms, terms and idioms such as OMG, LOL and dot-bomb. The word Wag also wheedles her unstylish, orange-skinned, gold-digging way into the dictionary.

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Dictionaries and thesauri


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