Oxford Dubs Hashtag ‘#’ Children’s Word of the Year
OXFORD, England, May 28 (UPI) — The publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary dubbed hashtag symbol “#” as the children’s word of the year.
The Oxford University Press said the hashtag symbol was chosen after an analysis of 120,421 entries into Radio 2’s 500 Words short story competition, a writing contest for kids under the age of 13, led officials to determine kids are using the symbol, once used only to add search terms to a Twitter post, to add comment and emphasis into stories.
“The research has shown that children are true innovators and that they are using more vocabulary, not less,” Vineeta Gupta, head of children’s dictionaries at OUP, told The Guardian. “Children are not tweeting and using Twitter, but they are using the word hashtag and the symbol # for dramatic effect, it is heightening tension.”
“The only thing I knew for sure was that I was going to get eaten (#frightened!!!).” an example from the contest shared by the BBC reads.
The OUP said “new words” not appearing in last year’s contest also included “animatronic,” “chica,” “baymax,” “shopkins,” “hillfort,” “grounders,” “pointless blog,” “vlogger,” “ooVoo” and “kik.”