John Walsh: OMG! We're famous at last! LOL (:-))

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The Independent Online

I suppose it had to happen soonR or l8R. A graphic symbol has found its way into the Oxford English Dictionary. The new edition of the lexicographical Bible features the heart symbol (as in "I § NY") soberly defined as "(verb) to love." It's apparently the first time a manufactured symbol has been honoured with an entry. But does this mean the way is clear for emoticons, those mildly irritating sideways faces that supposedly express an email-sender's feelings: (:- (( means I am jolly unhappy, whereas (: - X sends the recipient a kiss. Will they become part of the English language? Meanwhile it's interesting to find OMG ("Oh My God!") in these august pages, as well as LOL, defined as "Laughing Out Loud," though it can apparently have several meanings, none of which confers any credit on the sender.

* The Diagram Prize is awarded every year by The Bookseller magazine to the book with the oddest title. Previous winners include Baboon Metaphysics, Highlights in the History of Concrete, Living with Crazy Buttocks and Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers. (I'm not making any of these up.) This year's winner has just been announced. Fighting off strong opposition from What Color Is Your Dog? (a Hollywood dog trainer's guidebook) and the must-read 8th International Friction Stir Welding Symposium Proceedings, the 2010 Prize goes to Managing a Dental Practice the Genghis Khan Way by Michael R Young, a trenchant study of empire-building in the tooth-decay world. Don't all rush.

* Adverts for universities tend to be bland montages of smiling students dreaming of becoming lawyers and accountants. Not, however, those for the University of Lincoln made by Media Production student Tom Ridgewell and uploaded onto YouTube. They feature sudden attacks by zombies, a lecture theatre ablaze and cartoon dinosaurs attacking a city. Mr Ridgewell says he got the idea while daydreaming during a lecture (sadly, he can't remember the subject of the lecture.) The adverts have now been banned by the University – but they've had 900,000 hits online and hordes of impressionable 18-year-olds are making Lincoln their No 1 choice. The admissions department must be ecstatic.