It’s a beautiful sunny Saturday here in the Hudson Valley, and this morning, while walking my dog, I saw that my garden gnome had taken a tumble and was lying on the ground.  That guy had a tough winter, and for much of it, he was buried under snow.  Now, thawed out, he has been put back on his feet.  He’s ready to protect our garden from whatever, and he goes back to his job of trying to keep the creeping charlie from taking over.  He’s not doing a very good job, but that’s okay.  He’s getting on in years.  But, it got me  to thinking about how traditions start, and become part of our everyday.  And the reason I think about that is because I just read that the Oxford English dictionary has included some of today’s most overused text abbreviations:  LOL and OMG, into the pages of this revered reference book.  Thinking that this some sort of April Fool’s joke — it was announced at the end of March — I went online to the site and saw the two of them, clear as day.  Also added was the word “heart,” now accepted as a “verb,” because we text things like, “I heart Mexican food.”   (Most times the word is represented by a picture of a heart itself.) 

Now, are you still with me?  The reason why everyone these days has a garden gnome, and why OMG is an official word in the dictionary is because they have both been widely accepted.  That’s really it.  A folk tale from way back when that featured a pair of gnomes who helped a farmer and his wife is probably the reason why you will see a variety of gnomes at your garden supply store this spring.  And the fact that every teen in the world, my daughters included, text OMG and LOL about a gazillion bazillion times a day, is the reason why OMG and LOL are accepted into the Oxford English Dictionary.  It just baffles me.

Other additions include, “ego-surfing,” for those who search for themselves online, and “googling,” for when we search out information, like “I am googling the history of gnomes.”  Actually I googled the history of gnomes already and saw that it originated in England, and I googled the history of the Oxford English dictionary and saw that it, too, was begun in England. Hmmm.  All I can say is that maybe we have to really think about the habits we start because evidently someone is watching.  Someone over in the UK for sure… 

But, who am I to complain.  Let me go back to my earlier statement:  it’s a beautiful sunny Saturday in the Hudson Valley.  Go out and check to make sure your gnome is on the job.  TTYL, mj

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