It’s Official: Wiki is a word

It’s Official: Wiki is a word

March 19, 2007: The latest update of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has placed ‘wiki’ and ‘virtualize’ in its list of new words to be formalised in the Dictionary.

The March 2007 release of new words, a quarterly update, lists ‘wiki’ as a noun representing in many ways, what the OED is actually all about.

“It has been suggested that is some ways the OED itself resembles a wiki: it’s long tradition of working on collaborative principles means it has welcomed the contribution of information and quotation evidence from the public for over 150 years,” says an OED editor, Graeme Diamond.

The OED tells us the wiki noun joins a small ‘but distinguished’ group of words that ultimately stem into English from Hawaiian.

John Simpson, the OED’s chief editor said in his comments about the update, “words are included in the dictionary on the basis of the documentary evidence that we have collected about them,” he says. “A while ago this evidence suggested that wiki was starting to make a name for itself.”

“We tracked it for several years, researched its origins and finally decided it was time to include it in the dictionary.”

The word ‘virtualize’ also makes an appearance in the official English language after years of being somewhat neglected. “Although one might expect this word to be appearing, associated as it is with computers and ‘virtual reality,’ it’s interesting to note that another sense of the word enjoyed years of usage in philosophical circles before the advent of these recent phenomena,” comments the Diamond.

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