Paywall Gets Added to the Oxford Dictionary of English (and Bromance, too)

Friend in dictionary

Great news: the newest round of “words added to the dictionary” has surfaced. There are some choice additions this time around (are you telling me Chill Pill is only getting added now. We didn’t get it in there in, like, 1997?), and many of the new words that are fully embraced within the English language involve technology, social networking and the Internet. Among those to note are freemium (“a business model, especially on the Internet, whereby basic services are provided free of charge while more advanced features must be paid for”), tweetup (“a meeting organized by means of posts on Twitter”) and Interweb (“the Internet”). Of course, the one that gets me the most is the addition of Paywall. It’s new, official definition:

[A]n arrangement whereby access is restricted to users who have paid to subscribe to a website.

I’m not going to focus too much on syntax here, but within those 15 or so words, there is a lot to be analyzed. The idea of paying to subscribe, for example, and the fact that a paywall, in its definition, is a restrictive property. A paywall is not designed to make things available – its intent is to limit access to information to that smaller population. Not only a questionable business model, but really limiting when you think about the media/information sharing nature of what the Internet allows.

As a geeky aside, among other new words I’m excited about is the official entry for Bromance. As defined by Oxford, “a close but non-sexual relationship between two men.” In honor of such an addition, I now unnecessarily embed the excellent ode to bromances from the Scrubs Musical, “Guy Love.” Happy weekend:

Update: The title originally read “Oxford English Dictionary,” and was corrected as this is actually the Oxford Dictionary of English, slightly different, and thanks to Tiffany for pointing out.

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4 Comments on “Paywall Gets Added to the Oxford Dictionary of English (and Bromance, too)”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nieman Lab, Dave Levy, Naomi Most, darcyday, joshsprague and others. joshsprague said: RT @NiemanLab: You know you're a news-nerd when: you find yourself genuinely shocked that "paywall" hadn't been ODE-ed ages ago http://j.mp/cigN3C […]

  2. […] This post was Twitted by ianbissell […]

  3. […] Paywall Gets Added to the Oxford Dictionary of English (and Bromance, too) August 2010 2 comments 3 […]

  4. […] to users who have paid to subscribe to a website.”  That little definition was added in 2010.  Many news organisations are now making readers pay for online content – most notably big […]


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