I recently learned that Oxford Dictionaries online added several new words to the dictionary database that are derived from technical jargon and media-based slang. Here’s my favorite:
“mwahahaha (mwa|ha|ha¦ha) Pronunciation: /ˈmwɑːhɑːhɑːhɑː/(also muahahaha, muwahahaha, buahahaha)
Definition: exclamation used to represent laughter, especially manic or cackling laughter such as that uttered by a villainous character in a cartoon or comic strip: World domination, at last, is at hand. Mwahahaha”
When I hear this word, I instantly picture Inspector Gadget’s arch nemesis, Dr. Claw. Or He-man’s enemy, Skeletor. Or Gargamel from the Smurfs. Or the “Old Man Jenkins” type character from just about every Scooby-Doo episode ever made.
If you want to see the complete list, check out this blog post from Oxford Dictionaries online.
I doubt my daughter’s great-grandmother would recognize any of these recently added words. This made me think about how the English language changes over the decades, and how common jargon speaks to the newer generations. Historically, Shakespeare’s works were for the masses. They were created to entertain the common people, and were not considered lofty or highbrow or even “proper”. Interesting to contemplate where our language is headed, now that words like “lolz” and “tweeps” are in the dictionary. Kind of a scary thought, actually. Am I even going to understand half of what’s being said when I’m ninety? Maybe not. But I promise you this, I will still be able to steeple my fingers together and say, “Mwahahaha!” because that word is a classic.