'Net neutrality,' 'botnet' make it into the dictionary

Dive Brief:

  • Technology terms are going mainstream. This week Merriam-Webster bolstered its technology vocabulary, adding terms like "net neutrality," "abandonware" and "botnet," to its dictionary, according to an announcement

  • Rather than just naming the technology, the dictionary is now is looking at how it is used, including how it is managed, deployed and organized. This year 1,000 new words were added, some of which are tech-related. Other new terms showcase that Merriam-Webster is at home with the millenial, with the addition of "binge-watch," "ghost" and "photobomb." 

  • The new dictionary additions have demonstrated "frequent and increasing use in a variety of sources," warranting inclusion Merriam-Webster's dictionary. 

Dive Insight:

Merriam-Webster has been spending a lot of time on the internet, learning to "throw shade" and give "side-eye" the the terms of the past. Or at least they entered those words in the dictionary too. 

As technology permeates all areas of life and business, tech terms naturally have become more commonplace. The specific words added also indicate some trends in the industry.

For example, cybersecurity incidents and artificial intelligence are increasingly making mainstream news and changing how we think about technology. Though it was frequently referenced last year, net neutrality became a common term once again as the Trump administration and the FCC weigh the policy’s future. And botnets have gained notoriety because of their high-profile ability to take down the internet

Abandonware, however, was a new one for us. The term refers to "software that is no longer sold or supported by its creator." In some settings, abandomware is akin to sunset technology. 

Filed Under: Security Infrastructure