Merriam-Webster to release “New Words & Slang” dictionary

There is an online dictionary created by Merriam-Webster where people can add words that are used in the English language but are not yet part of a printed dictionary. This “New Words & Slang” online dictionary gives anybody the opportunity to add words they have heard.

Merriam-Webster also calls it “the Open Dictionary.”  See the image above and to the left of this article.  This image is a “screen grab” of the home page of this dictionary, which by the way is also an entry in this dictionary.  Screen grab means a still digital image taken from a computer or TV.  See more open dictionary entries below.

Merriam-Webster has a video about the open dictionary at

This idea — to let people submit entries to a dictionary — is called crowdsourcing, which coincidentally is also an entry in this dictionary, because the word crowdsourcing is not yet in the printed dictionary.  Here are a few more words that are computer related that are in the open dictionary.

Dead zone
A place with no cell phone or wireless coverage.  Submitted to the open dictionary on October 9, 2009.

A word for online ads that can attack your computer if you click on them.  Submitted to the open dictionary on September 18, 2009.

Asking for the input of many people online.  See also the paragraph above where this word is used.  Submitted to the open dictionary on August 26, 2009.

A few more computer/internet related words that you can look up yourself are e-quaintance, blognorant, virality, hashtag and shelfware. There are currently 869 computer- and internet-related words in the open dictionary.

Merriam-Webster has been keeping up to date with the internet and computers by using the open dictionary to help them fill their dictionaries with new words.  And computers and the internet have certainly been a source for new words.

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