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Dictionary looks to Twitter for new words

The Collins English Dictionary has taken to Twitter to find new words for the next edition of the lexicon, and is asking users to choose which words should make the final edition.

The shortlist includes fracktivist, which refers to someone who protests against fracking, and felfie - a term used to describe a farmer who takes a selfie.

The 12th edition of the dictionary will be the first to contain a word that has been voted for by Twitter users.

Until midnight on May 28, Twitter users can vote for the word that will go into the next edition of the dictionary, released in October.

Andrew Freeman, associate publisher at Collins, said: "Twitter offers us an immediate snapshot of how much a word is used. The tried and tested approach to compiling dictionaries has to adapt to embrace the ways in which language is developing through use on social media."

Collins has been publishing the dictionary since 1819 and is the largest single volume dictionary in print.

This new process, which has its own website where Twitter users can vote, looks to take advantage of the freedom of Twitter when it comes to the written word.

According to language experts, the list is a sign of the way language is changing in the 21st century.

Ian Brookes, lexicographer and consultant editor to the Collins English Dictionary, said: "Language has always had to develop in response to changes in society and technology.

"In the 21st century, the growth of social media has had a comparable effect."

Twitter users can vote for their choice by visiting twictionary.collinsdictionary.com

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