Digital Jargon Turned Offline Lingo

As digital and internet culture continues to grow, our societal and cultural norms become increasingly entrenched in the online world. In fact, in September, Merriam-Webster added more than 840 new entries, and, unsurprisingly, many stem from the digital realm.

Digital Words in the Offline World

These new words have seeped their way from the online sphere into our everyday offline lives, for better or for worse. Words recently added like “bingeable”, “Instagramming” and “airplane mode” have become less online or technical jargon and more a part of our vernacular. What’s your favorite bingeable show on Netflix? Do you see those kids Instagramming their food? Don’t forget to put your phone on airplane mode prior to takeoff. Other words stemming from our technology use that were added recently? “Predictive text” and “force quit”.

Are these new words a necessity for the dictionary? You be the judge. Here are a few of the craziest new entries:

  • Bougie – “Marked by a concern for wealth, possessions, and respectability: Bourgeois.”
  • Hophead – “A beer enthusiast.”
  • Time Suck – “An activity to which one devotes a lot of time that might be better or more productively spent doing other things.”
  • Ribbie – “Informal pronunciation of RBI, or a run in baseball that is driven in by a batter.”
  • Zuke – “Zucchini”

Abbreviation not Elongation

Another notable trend, most likely tracing its roots back to online chat or text messaging, is the abbreviation of words in casual speech. Want to get margs, chips and guac this weekend? Thanks for the adorbs gift; you’re my fav! These abbreviated versions of margarita, guacamole, adorable and favorite are now all in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

 TL;DR – New technology rooted words have also been added to the dictionary (Too long; didn’t read was also added in September). It’s crucial for marketers to be on top of our game in all aspects of communications. This includes new trends in words and internet culture.

At Proof Strategies we are tuned into all communications trends from Generation Z  and beyond. We talk the internet talk and walk the online walk. If you have trouble navigating the ever-changing world of communications contact us here. We’d love to help you achieve your communications goals.


Shelby Burns

Digital Strategist

Shelby’s love for communications and the digital world has blossomed into a passion for the public relations industry as a digital content creator. A native Floridian, Shelby spends her spare time exploring the DC area. She loves planning outdoor adventures in the nearby National Parks, discovering new restaurants, and visiting all of the local museums.

About Proof Strategies

With 275+ awards for client work and industry leadership, the independently owned Proof family of companies (Proof Strategies, Inc., Proof, Inc., Proof Experiences, Inc.) has over 165 staff members in offices in Toronto, Montréal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Washington, D.C., and annual fee income of $30 million. As a brand steward to some of North America’s most respected and well-known companies, the firm’s strategic approach is guided by data-driven research, deep subject expertise, smart creative and meticulous measurement. A corporate leader in the age of climate change, Proof Strategies, Inc. has been carbon neutral since 2008.

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