The Newest Word in English Is "A-Circumflex Trademark Yen," and It Means the Machines Love You

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March 25 2011 3:45 PM

The Newest Word in English Is "A-Circumflex Trademark Yen," and It Means the Machines Love You

Exciting electronic-communications language news, according to the news-aggregation servers of the AOL Huffington Post, as perceived by the news-algorithm reader-aggregators of Google News, as rendered by Firefox 4.0 on a MacBook running OS X 10.5.8:

LOL, OMG, WTF?? a;lsdjfads;ljfasdlkfja!!1!! The Oxford English Dictionary is now making room for code-garbage, in tribute to the ever-increasing prominence of machine gibberish in daily reading? Sadly, no; the string of an a-circumflex, an unregistered-trademark symbol, and a yen (or yuan) symbol is meant to have produced a heart symbol, which is now included under the entry for the word "heart," and which the OED Web site website explains:

may be the first English usage to develop via the medium of T-shirts and bumper-stickers.

("I'm With Stupid" demands a recount.)

include "heteronormative," "rugelach," "rumspringa," and "tinfoil hat," as well as, in a decidedly non-futuristic vein, "stonewashed." Also there's "fnarr fnarr":

int. and adj (a representation of a lecherous snigger popularized in the comic magazine Viz and used adjectivally to denote crude sexual innuendo)

which explanation, in its juxtaposition of the specifically alien ("Viz"?) and the imprecisely familiar (crude how?), produces in me a net loss of English comprehension. I assume the Internet has already started producing a dictionary to translate the dictionary. An automated one, I hope.

Tom Scocca is the managing editor of Deadspin and the author of Beijing Welcomes You: Unveiling the Capital City of the Future.



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