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Although these abbreviations are strongly associated with the language of electronic communications (email, texting, social networks, blogs, and so on), they actually do have a history. The first confirmed use of OMG was in a letter in 1917. The letters LOL had a previous life that began in 1960 – they used to denoted an elderly woman (Little Old Lady).
The new update includes about 900 new words and meanings, and most were not popularized on the Internet. One was particularly quickly adopted: WAG (Wives And Girlfriends) was first used in 2002 to describe the female partners of the England soccer team. It is now used to denote extravagant female partners of male celebrities.
Editors publish updates to OED online every three months. The Internet version of the dictionary launched in 2000 and may eventually replace the 20-volume printed version, last published in 1989. By the time lexicographers finish revising and updating a new edition, however, publishers doubt there will be a market for the printed form.
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