Every quarter, the English language’s most famous dictionary pulls off a clever public relations stunt: poking a finger in the eye of those who love its product the most.
The final quarter of 2015 brought no exception. The OED’s 500 new words, compounds and senses include phablet (“a very large smartphone”), waybread (“food made for eating before or during a long journey”) and the gender-neutral honorific Mx.
The OED and its Internet partner are distinct entities, and words tend to find their way into the faddish Oxford Dictionaries before they show up in the OED. Nevertheless, the two seem to share a mission of gleefully riling up word lovers, who in turn shovel coal into the publicity furnaces of articles, blog entries and tweets.