Mwahahaha! When Dictionaries Go Bad

August 23, 2012 • Culture Dept. • Views: 293

Mwahahaha!The Oxford Dictionaries Online have put the Lex (Luthor!) into lexicography with the inclusion of the word “Mwahahaha,” reports Jason Boog in the GalleyCat. The lexicographers tracked the campy exclamation to 80s comic culture and reminds that it’s “used to represent laughter, especially manic or cackling laughter such as that uttered by a villainous character in a cartoon or comic strip.” The terms has enjoyed an uptick in usage in recent years in texts and tweets by teens and twenty-somethings who are evil too.

Interestingly, “diabolical laughter,” an antecedent to “mwahahaha,” has been in circulation since the late 60s (as evident in Monty Python’s lauded Spanish Inquisition sketch) but has yet to be included in the Oxford Dictionaries Online perhaps because it lacks the onomatopoedic quality of “mwahahaha” or perhaps its harder to spell.

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