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"Meh" Enters Collins English Dictionary

| 19 Nov 2008 17:50
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Another perfectly cromulent word embiggens the English language.

It started with "D'oh" and now Matt Groening and co. have managed to land yet another one of their made-up words into the English dictionary. In an open call for new words for the 30th anniversary edition of Collins English Dictionary, the apathetic expression "meh" defeated the likes of "jargonaut" and "huggles" to earn a place in the book.

Collins asked that people submit words they use in conversations but are not yet in the dictionary. The word "meh," which was initially featured in a 2001 episode of The Simpsons, rose to prominence early in the internet age as the simplest way to convey indifference or boredom where it is, at times, difficult to judge the emotion of a fellow online user.

"Internet and email are playing a big part in formalising the spellings of vocal interjections like these," explains Cormac McKeown, Collins Dictionaries head of content. "Other examples would be hmm and heh, which are both now ubiquitous online and in emails. People are increasingly writing in a register somewhere in between spoken and written English."

Is it only a matter of time before the nefarious and universally appalling "txt speak" makes its way into our lexicon? Should that day come, at the very least, there will be nothing stopping "Kwyjibo" from becoming a legitimate Scrabble word.

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