AMIDST the sadness of these momentous days in history, time marches on regardless and one chronicler of how times change is language. Now hundreds of words have been added to a dictionary that chronicles the evolution of language. But would you use any of them? (FWIW dear reader, some of them are janky).


Words such as…?
Many of the 370 additions to Merriam-Webster's dictionary are related to technology, including a "dumbphone", a mobile phone that does not include advanced software, such as email or an internet browser, acknowledging that despite the apparent advancements in the field, it does not always sit well with all. 


What else?
"Video doorbell" is a new term included, acknowledging the rise in use of the small security cameras connected to doorbells. And in the virtual world arena, "metaverse" makes the cut, documenting "a persistent virtual environment that allows access to multiple individual virtual realities". "Laggy" is in the mix too, defined as a "slow response" of a computer system.


This may be a new term for many of us, referring to content posed by an influencer on social media that looks like a regular post, but is actually something they have been sponsored to feature.


Seems like an old word on the block, but it is a new addition, defined as “embarrassing, awkward”, while anything that causes you to squirm is “cringeworthy”. And what about "adorkable?" Sounds rather contrived but means "socially awkward in a cute way", while "lewk" is a "style that is distinctive to the wearer”.


If you are not au fait, this translates to “for what it’s worth”, while ICYMI is “in case you missed it”. And while "baller" means "this is extraordinary especially in a way that is suggested of a lavish lifestyle", "sus" is "suspicious" or "suspect" and "janky" is "of very poor quality”.


Any others worth mentioning?
If you haven't got a bank in your area, or an ATM, then you are apparently "underbanked". while "side hustle" also gets a mention, referring to the "work performed for income supplementary to one's primary job", and indeed the side hustle rose in prominence during the pandemic which explains its arrival. Meanwhile "oat milk" is now in the dictionary, along with "pumpkin spice".


It’s just when one thinks of…
…the elegance of Shakespeare and the energy of Burns, is language really advancing in the 21st century? Perhaps that comes down to personal opinion.


These new words have been included due to their usage. A spokesperson said: “The dictionary chronicles how the language grows and changes, which means new words and definitions must continually be added. When many people use a word in the same way, over a long enough period of time, that word becomes eligible for inclusion.”