Words that are prevalent in social media interactions such as Facebook have infused the daily lives of scores of millions of people. Yet not all these words simply appeared in the world with the advent of Facebook, even though we may be using some of them somewhat differently, and more frequently, than before. Many, such as “unfriend,” have histories going back hundreds of years. Similarly, “social network” in a related, general sense is first found in the mid-nineteenth century, even if the reference to an online forum has only been present since 1998.
Original blog at the Oxford Dictionaries blog: