Outrage! “Cassette Tape” Removed From The Oxford English Dictionary

Do you want to feel old? Really old? While words like sexting, jeggings and mankini have found their way into the collective consciousness, one term has been exorcised forever from the official record of English language — “cassette tape.” According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “cassette tape” will no longer appear in future editions of the publication, having been replaced by tons of text speak, such as LOL, OMG, and <3. Yes, the text sign for "love" is the OED, but cassette tape is not. And this, my friends, is just WRONG.Yes, technology wise, we’ve moved beyond cassette tapes in the US and the UK, but guess what, OED? In much of the world, cassette tapes are still the primary tool with which to share and disseminate music. So there’s that, and then there’s also the idea that for many of us, cassette tapes are a deep source of nostalgia and memory. I’ve got a closet full of mix tapes at home that I’ve both made and received. My musical history is cached in those tapes in a way that no MP3 mix could ever capture.

And I’m not the only one. Jason Bitner is the guy behind the website and book Cassette From My Ex (full disclosure, I have a story in this book). He agrees that the time of the cassette isn’t over. “They’re taking it out to make way for ‘sexting’?” says Bitner. “The mixtape is the godfather of sexting! Screw you, OED! We don’t need your ‘words’ for our cassettes to live on. Viva la mixtape!” Viva la mixtape, indeed!

And lest you think it’s simply Jason and me who are up in arms about this grievous disinclusion, Bucks Burnett, owner of the Eight Track Museum (dedicated to an actual obsolescent music form), has planned a boycott of the OED. “I’m going to ban the Oxford Dictionary from the museum. I have a copy and I’m going to recycle it,” he said. “This decision to remove the word was made inside a Starbucks by 20-something editors on their lunch break.” [Huffington Post]

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