I’m not one to argue against the evolution of language. I know languages are fluid beings, constantly being reshaped, parts of them being phased out while other parts grow with use.
But when the dictionary starts adding symbols (other than actual letters) as words, you know you’ve got issues.
You’ve possibly heard the news already, but the Oxford English Dictionary’s latest additions include such words/phrases/acronyms as rusticle, party-crasher, OMG, LOL, gnasher, and ♥.
Yup, that’s not a typo. ♥ is now apparently considered a word.
I can understand the addition of “OMG” and “LOL” and other such phrases, as they have permeated the language enough to mean something slightly different than “oh my god” and “I’m laughing out loud right now!” due to the way in which they’re utilized. My question, though, is this: why do we need the heart symbol, the actual symbol ♥, to be defined? When has ♥ EVER had to be defined? OED has it defined as the verb form of “heart,” as in “to heart,” a “colloquial synonym of ‘to love.’” How the hell else would you define it? How else would you even use it? When has anyone read “I ♥ New York!” as “I left ventricle New York!” or anything equally as wrong? The use of “I ♥ [insert object of affection here]” is certainly wide-spread enough to warrant some attention to the phrase, but why in the hell define the symbol? Why not just denote a new verb, “to heart,” and leave it at that?
What’s next, “I ♣ seals?” “David ♠?” “David ♠ ♣s seals?”