Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I get a little summary of the top daily news in my mailbox every morning. I love reading the newspaper, the real print-version newspaper, but I a) value my sleep so have no time, b) can't validate spending money on a subscription when I can find the info for free. So, one of the big news items for today, apparently, is this.

The Collins English dictionary held a nationwide contest for new words to be included in their dictionary. Now, I prefer the Canadian Oxford as my dictionary of choice (it's so much more than just a dictionary, it's a fabulous reference book -- I asked for mine for Christmas one year, no joke), and their decision of "new word" validated my choice.

Their decision, was the "word" meh.

"Internet forums and e-mail are playing a big part in formalizing the spellings of vocal interjections like these. A couple of other examples would be hmm and heh, which are both now ubiquitous online and in e-mails. It shows people are increasingly writing in a register somewhere in between spoken and written English."

Yes, meh, hrm and heh are vocal interjections. They are sounds. Spelled out because you can't relay noise through a computer screen/text message. By no means are these words. I would never use "meh" in a sentence. You have a so-so day and someone asks how you are? A "meh" and shrug of the shoulders will suffice. Saying "The Canadian election was so meh" makes absolutely no sense to me. LAME! The Canadian election was LAME!

Even by judging from the origins of "meh", I would not call it a word.

The naming of "meh" as winner of the nationwide contest has generated international media attention, partly because the term first gained widespread usage after it was featured in an episode of The Simpsons in which Lisa and Bart, glued to the television set, listlessly utter "meh" to rebuff Homer's offer of a day trip.

Expression of disinterest, yes. Legitimate word, no.

1 comment:

ExMi (expensive mistakes and cheap thrills) said...

one thing that really bothers me is 'lolcat speak'.

seriously. what has happened to the English language?

btw - thanks for commenting on my post on Mandy's blog - swapping blogs was fun!