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OMG, LOL, FYI Now in Oxford English Dictionary (26th March, 2011)


 

We all use them when we send text messages; now they have been included in the latest edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). They are the online abbreviations OMG, “oh my God”; LOL, “laughing out loud”; FYI, “for your information; and IMHO, “in my humble opinion”. The OED calls them “initialisms” because they are made up of initials. Young people know and use thousands of these shortcuts on social media sites like Twitter and when sending SMS texts. They are useful when there is a limit on the number of characters used in a message. An OED editor, Graeme Diamond, believes there’s more to initialisms than simply saving space in messages. He thinks young people use them to show irony.

Mr Diamond, who is responsible for allowing new words into the OED, said one of the initialisms, “OMG” was not so new as it was included in a letter written in 1917. New entries in the OED include “ego surfing” – the practice of searching your own name on the Internet, and the “five-second rule,” that "allows for the eating of a delicious morsel that has fallen to the floor, provided that it is retrieved within the specified period of time". Lexicographers also decided that the term “muffin top” deserved an entry. This is defined as "a protuberance of flesh above the waistband of a tight pair of trousers”. It’s also known as “spare tyre” or “love handle”. The dictionary has also included the heart symbol <3 meaning "love".


WARM-UPS

1. DICTIONARIES: Walk around the class and talk to other students about dictionaries. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

text messages / dictionary / abbreviations / OMG / LOL / shortcuts / social media / new words / ego / surfing / the five-second rule / muffins / flesh / heart symbol / love

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. WORDS: What’s the best way to learn words? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

 

Pros

Cons

Dictionaries

 

 

Flash cards

 

 

Vocab notebooks

 

 

Online sites

 

 

Pictures

 

 

Word families

 

 

4. LANGUAGE: Students A strongly believe terms like OMG, LOL, etc are leading to poorer quality language; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. NEW WORDS: Which of these do you like best, and why? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the best at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • LOL
  • five-second rule
  • IMHO
  • muffin top
  • OMG
  • <3
  • FYI
  • singledom

6. TEXT MESSAGES: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the term ‘text messages’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

There is a new dictionary just for people who text message.

T / F

b.

One of the new “initialisms” is “OED”.

T / F

c.

Young people know thousands of words that are shortcuts.

T / F

d.

There is more than one reason why people use “initialisms”.

T / F

e.

“OMG” is almost one hundred years old.

T / F

f.

“Ego surfing” has nothing to do with being online.

T / F

g.

The five-second rule is about picking food off the floor and eating it.

T / F

h.

A “spare tyre” can also be a “love handle” or a “muffin top”.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

1.

latest

a.

modest

2

edition

b.

merited

3.

humble

c.

sarcasm

4.

limit

d.

got back

5.

irony

e.

self-importance

6.

ego

f.

newest

7.

retrieved

g.

stated

8.

deserved

h.

version

9.

specified

i.

figure-hugging

10.

tight

j.

maximum

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

We all use them when we send

a.

words into the OED

2

they have been included

b.

period of time

3.

shortcuts on

c.

to show irony

4.

a limit on the number

d.

tight pair of trousers

5.

young people use them

e.

meaning "love"

6.

responsible for allowing new

f.

social media sites

7.

ego

g.

text messages

8.

retrieved within the specified

h.

surfing

9.

the waistband of a

i.

in the latest edition

10.

the heart symbol <3

j.

of characters used

 


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

We all use them when we send text (1) ____________; now they have been included in the latest (2) ____________ of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). They are the online abbreviations OMG, “oh my God”; LOL, “laughing out (3) ____________”; FYI, “for your information; and IMHO, “in my (4) ____________ opinion”. The OED calls them “initialisms” because they are made up of initials. Young people know and use thousands of these (5) ____________ on social media sites like Twitter and when sending SMS texts. They are useful when there is a (6) ____________ on the number of characters used in a message. An OED editor, Graeme Diamond, believes there’s (7) ____________ to initialisms than simply saving space in messages. He thinks young people use them to (8) ____________ irony.

 

 

 

humble
show
edition
more
messages
shortcuts
loud
limit

Mr Diamond, who is (9) ____________ for allowing new words into the OED, said one of the initialisms, “OMG,” was not so new as it was (10) ____________ in a letter written in 1917. New entries in the OED include “ego surfing” – the (11) ____________ of searching your own name on the Internet, and the “five-second rule,” that "allows for the eating of a (12) ____________ morsel that has fallen to the floor, provided that it is retrieved within the specified period of (13) ____________ ". Lexicographers also decided that the term “muffin top” deserved an (14) ____________. This is defined as "a protuberance of (15) ____________ above the waistband of a tight pair of trousers”. It’s also known as “spare tyre” or “love handle”. The dictionary has also included the heart (16) ____________ <3 meaning "love".

 

 

time
practice
flesh
included
symbol
responsible
entry
delicious

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

____________________ send text messages; now they have been included in the latest edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). They are the online abbreviations OMG, “oh my God”; LOL, “laughing out loud”; FYI, “for your information; and IMHO, “____________________”. The OED calls them “initialisms” because they ____________________. Young people know and use thousands of these shortcuts ____________________ like Twitter and when sending SMS texts. They are useful when there is a limit on the ____________________ used in a message. An OED editor, Graeme Diamond, believes there’s more to initialisms than simply saving space in messages. He thinks young people ____________________.

Mr Diamond, who is responsible ____________________ into the OED, said one of the initialisms, “OMG,” was not so new as it was included in a letter written in 1917. New entries in the OED ____________________ – the practice of searching your own name on the Internet, and the “five-second rule,” that "allows for the eating ____________________ that has fallen to the floor, provided that it is retrieved within the specified period of time". Lexicographers also decided that the term “muffin top” ____________________. This is defined as "a protuberance of flesh above the waistband ____________________ trousers”. It’s also known as “spare tyre” or “love handle”. The dictionary ____________________ heart symbol <3 meaning "love".


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘text’ and ‘message’.

text

message

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • latest
  • loud
  • initials
  • social
  • limit
  • show
  • responsible
  • letter
  • surfing
  • delicious
  • deserved
  • symbol

STUDENT DICTIONARIES SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about dictionaries in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

DICTIONARIES DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘dictionary’?

c)

What do you think of dictionaries?

d)

Do you prefer to use an English-English dictionary or a bilingual one?

e)

What do you think of “initialisms”?

f)

Do you like the terms OMG and LOL?

g)

How important are initialisms to you when you type text messages?

h)

What shortcuts do you use in your own language?

i)

Do you think initialisms should be included in dictionaries?

j)

Do you think older people are confused by initialisms?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Would you like Graeme Diamond’s job?

c)

Have you ever tried “ego surfing” - typing your name in a search box?

d)

Have you heard of the five-second rule before? Do you agree with it?

e)

What do you think of the term “muffin top”?

f)

Which is the best term – “muffin top”, “love handle” or spare tyre”?

g)

Do you like / use the heart symbol <3? Do you think it should be included in the Oxford English Dictionary.

h)

What are your three favourite English words?

i)

Do you prefer online or paper dictionaries?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Graeme Diamond?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

We all use them when we send text messages; now they have been (1) ____ in the latest edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). They are the online (2) ____ OMG, “oh my God”; LOL, “laughing out loud”; FYI, “for your information; and IMHO, “in my humble opinion”. The OED calls them “initialisms” because they are made (3) ____ of initials. Young people know and use thousands of these shortcuts on social media sites like Twitter and (4) ____ sending SMS texts. They are useful when there is a limit (5) ____ the number of characters used in a message. An OED editor, Graeme Diamond, believes there’s more to initialisms than simply saving space in messages. He thinks young people use them to (6) ____ irony.

Mr Diamond, who is responsible for (7) ____ new words into the OED, said one of the initialisms, “OMG,” was not so new as it was included in a letter written in 1917. New entries in the OED include “ego surfing” – the (8) ____ of searching your own name on the Internet, and the “five-second rule,” that "allows for the eating of a delicious (9) ____ that has fallen to the floor, provided that it is retrieved within the specified period (10) ____ time". Lexicographers also decided that the term “muffin top” deserved an entry. This is defined as "a protuberance of (11) ____ above the waistband of a (12) ____ pair of trousers”. It’s also known as “spare tyre” or “love handle”. The dictionary has also included the heart symbol <3 meaning "love".

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

included

(b)

inclusive

(c)

including

(d)

includes

2.

(a)

abbreviate

(b)

abbreviated

(c)

abbreviations

(d)

abbreviation

3.

(a)

in

(b)

on

(c)

at

(d)

up

4.

(a)

where

(b)

when

(c)

from

(d)

which

5.

(a)

in

(b)

at

(c)

by

(d)

on

6.

(a)

watch

(b)

get

(c)

show

(d)

learn

7.

(a)

allows

(b)

allowing

(c)

allowed

(d)

allow

8.

(a)

practice

(b)

trying

(c)

limit

(d)

study

9.

(a)

morsels

(b)

measles

(c)

muscles

(d)

missiles

10.

(a)

at

(b)

in

(c)

of

(d)

on

11.

(a)

flush

(b)

mush

(c)

mesh

(d)

flesh

12.

(a)

large

(b)

tight

(c)

designer

(d)

dirty


 
 

WRITING

Write about dictionaries for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about dictionaries. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. TEXT MESSAGE SHORTCUTS: Make a poster about the different shortcuts you use with text messages. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. INITIALISMS: Write a magazine article about initialisms. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against them.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to a lexicographer. Ask him/her three questions about dictionaries and new words. Give him/her three ideas on how to make dictionaries better. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.


 


 
 

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

F

c.

T

d.

T

e.

T

f.

F

g.

T

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

latest

a.

newest

2

edition

b.

version

3.

humble

c.

modest

4.

limit

d.

maximum

5.

irony

e.

sarcasm

6.

ego

f.

self-importance

7.

retrieved

g.

got back

8.

deserved

h.

merited

9.

specified

i.

stated

10.

tight

j.

figure-hugging

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

We all use them when we send

a.

text messages

2

they have been included

b.

in the latest edition

3.

shortcuts on

c.

social media sites

4.

a limit on the number

d.

of characters used

5.

young people use them

e.

to show irony

6.

responsible for allowing new

f.

words into the OED

7.

ego

g.

surfing

8.

retrieved within the specified

h.

period of time

9.

the waistband of a

i.

tight pair of trousers

10.

the heart symbol <3

j.

meaning "love"

GAP FILL:

OMG, LOL, FYI now in Oxford English Dictionary

We all use them when we send text (1) messages; now they have been included in the latest (2) edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). They are the online abbreviations OMG, “oh my God”; LOL, “laughing out (3) loud”; FYI, “for your information; and IMHO, “in my (4) humble opinion”. The OED calls them “initialisms” because they are made up of initials. Young people know and use thousands of these (5) shortcuts on social media sites like Twitter and when sending SMS texts. They are useful when there is a (6) limit on the number of characters used in a message. An OED editor, Graeme Diamond, believes there’s (7) more to initialisms than simply saving space in messages. He thinks young people use them to (8) show irony.

Mr Diamond, who is (9) responsible for allowing new words into the OED, said one of the initialisms, “OMG,” was not so new as it was (10) included in a letter written in 1917. New entries in the OED include “ego surfing” – the (11) practice of searching your own name on the Internet, and the “five-second rule,” that "allows for the eating of a (12) delicious morsel that has fallen to the floor, provided that it is retrieved within the specified period of (13) time". Lexicographers also decided that the term “muffin top” deserved an (14) entry. This is defined as "a protuberance of (15) flesh above the waistband of a tight pair of trousers”. It’s also known as “spare tyre” or “love handle”. The dictionary has also included the heart (16) symbol <3 meaning "love".

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - a

2 - c

3 - d

4 - b

5 - d

6 - c

7 - b

8 - a

9 -a

10 - c

11 - d

12 - b

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