Yes You Read It Right!! The Oxford English Dictionary has added “LOL” (Laugh out Loud), “OMG” (Oh My God) and “Heart” ♥(<3) to its collection of 600,000+ words in the most recent update. The inclusion of these words based upon their saturation in mainstream communication.
According to OED website:
The intention is usually to signal an informal, gossipy mode of expression, and perhaps parody the level of unreflective enthusiasm or overstatement that can sometimes appear in online discourse, while at the same time marking oneself as an ‘insider’ au fait with the forms of expression associated with the latest technology. Online ‘initialisms’ are faster to type (as in texts and tweets) and help to say more in media where there is a limit to a number of characters one may use in a single message.
Other notable entries include “WAG” (Wives And Girlfriends), Muffin top (refer to fat people – taken from Seinfeld), “Headline” and “Car Crash.”
Surprised? Well, You shouldn’t be. Languages evolve with the passage of time and everyone has to adjust to it. Let us know in comments if you are OMG, but still ♥ that! LOL!!
The full definitions for ♥ and LOL according to OED are:
♥ 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’.
Originally and chiefly in the language of electronic communications: ‘ha ha!'; used to draw attention to a joke or humorous statement, or to express amusement.