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OMG, I heart the OED

The OED has proved once again that it takes the development of the English language seriously. Among the words recently included in the OED online edition are “initialisms”(1) such as:

Now, fair enough. But what really surprised me is the inclusion of “heart” as a verb, as it occurs in the verbalisation of slogans on T-shirts, for example, or buttons expressing the support of certain worthy causes – or silly causes, as the case may be. One example (of a worthy cause, of course) is the ‘I ♥ EDU’ button at the top right of this blog (say: “I heart edu”).
I quote the OED site (latest update of the OED, published on 24 March 2011):

♥ to heart
The new sense added to heart v. in this update may be the first English usage to develop via the medium of T-shirts and bumper-stickers. It originated as a humorous reference to logos featuring a picture of a heart as a symbol for the verb love, like that of the famous ‘I ? NY’ tourism campaign. Our earliest quote for this use, from 1984, uses the verb in ‘I heart my dog’s head’, a jokey play on bumper stickers featuring a heart and a picture of the face of a particular breed of dog (expressing a person’s enthusiasm for, say, shih-tzus) which itself became a popular bumper sticker. From these beginnings, heart v. has gone on to live an existence in more traditional genres of literature as a colloquial synonym for ‘to love’.

(1)Whatever happened to “acronyms”? I must admit that the use of whatever-ism to designate a type of word formation sounds awkward to me. I’ve come to know ‘-isms’ as ideologies (e.g. Marxism, socialism, capitalism) or value-driven attitudes (idealism, existentialism), and (after looking at a somewhat shaky, but still useful Wikipedia article) attitudes based on prejudice (sexism, racism), expressions bearing the characteristics of certain persons or things (Shakespeareanism) or disorders (dwarfism).
At least Googlefight still sees “acronym” as the winner (18.400.000 vs. 28.500).

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