In its latest quarterly update the Oxford English dictionary has added ♥ and the acronyms OMG and LOL - giving them the status of words in the English language.
The heart symbol, as widely used on bumper-stickers and tee-shirts in slogans to indicate deep enthusiasm has become the first graphical entry in the Oxford English Dictionary in its 127-year history.
Referring to the inclusion of ♥, denoting the verb to heart, Graeme Diamond from the OED commented:
"While symbols do become spelt-out words relatively frequently, it is usually only with a mundane meaning as the name of the symbol... It's very unusual for it to happen in such an evocative and tangential way."
Texting and tweeting have accustomed us to acronyms, or "initialisms" to use the OED's term. Now the use of LOL (laughing out loud) and OMG (Oh my God) have been legitimated by the OED's recognition, joining earlier entries including FYI (for your information), IMHO (in my humble opinion), TMI (too much information) and WTF (what the fuck?! used as an expression of incredulity or annoyance).
The complete list of new words to the OED can be seen within its Latest Update report which also mentions the relaunch of its online site earlier this year. So the OED really is now part of our connected, online world.