Webster’s move over, the Urban Dictionary is quickly becoming the “go to” source for those trying to keep up with cultural and current terminology. Their existence on the Web allows them to be the anthropologist capturing cultural moments in real time. This interesting news came from The New York Times in their syndicated article, “Urban Dictionary tracks language of the Internet.”

The site is a crowdsourced online dictionary that lets anyone contribute words and definitions. It was started in 1999 by a college freshman. Since that time, more than 7 million definitions of words, acronyms and phrases have been listed on the site, with 2,000 more definitions added daily. Not only has the content grown, but the site’s audience has grown steadily from 6 million in November 2010 to a whopping 8.4 million in October 2013.

The Urban Dictionary reflects the fast pace of the Internet. With traditional dictionaries, it can take months or even years for new words and terms to be granted entry. The World Wide Web waits on no one. This brings up the question of filters, but that is for another time and another article.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.