W.W.B.T–What Would Burke Think?
We recently learned that Burke is regarded by many political experts as the father of modern conservatism. His “Reflections on the Revolution in France” is now considered to be the platform in conservative thought. As conservatism’s supposed “founder”, Burke believed in the promotion of the maintenance of tradition as the most valuable source of knowledge, adherence to values, and, at most, only slight or gradual change in society.
So if Burke was such a critic of innovation, what would he have thought of the prestigious Oxford English Dictionary’s recognition of expressions like ‘OMG’, ‘FYI’, and ‘LOL’ as real words worthy of being added to its latest print?
As stated by CNN, “’FYI’ (for your information), ‘LOL’ (laughing out loud), and ‘OMG’ (oh my god) [or oh my gosh/goodness, depending on one’s preference] are all now formally recognized by the Oxford English Dictionary…” (CNN.com)
Personally, this explanation is kind of ridiculous. Just because a ‘word’ has been in use for a long time and is widely understood does not necessarily give it the right, for lack of better term, to be in such a premier dictionary.
Looking at it from Burke’s perspective, I suppose that such a commonly used phrase or word could be considered “traditional”, but shouldn’t the value of the word come into play as well?
The article reports that the abbreviation “WAG” is an official new entry to the dictionary. WAG is an abbreviation for ‘wives and girlfriends’ when referring to the partners of soccer players.
…Really? Do people really say “WAG” often enough for it to be included in the dictionary? I, myself, have never heard the term. And if such abbreviations are deemed important enough to be in the Oxford English Dictionary, shouldn’t slang or swear words that are thrown around on a daily basis also be included? I’m fairly certain that this is why we have separate slang dictionaries.
It is understandable that the dictionary would strive to keep up with modern changes in vocabulary, but there should be a limit or a distinction as to what types of words should be added. People should not have to pay more for a dictionary that includes such contrived “words” as WAG or LOL.
So what do you think? Firstly, is it right for such a high-end dictionary to find words like this necessary to include? And secondly, what would the ultra-conservative Edmund Burke think of this stray from tradition?