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Every time I offer to "get on a screenshare" with colleagues, Microsoft Teams marks "screenshare" with the dreaded red squiggly underline. I note that (as of August 31, 2023) the Merriam & Webster online dictionary does not have an entry for "screenshare", nor does the Oxford English Dictionary, nor Cambridge Dictionary, nor even Dictionary.com.

I also see that Merriam & Webster indicates that words get added based on the prevalence of usage; the more "screenshare" gets used, the more likely it will be added to the dictionary.

I would think the usage of the word "screenshare" has exploded since 2020. Is there any reference material that would corroborate or debunk that assertion? Is there a way to predict when it might get recognition by the most-referenced dictionaries? Is there already a derivative or synonym of "screenshare" that is already in place?

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  • It's in Wiktionary and easily understood by most people who hear it. Even if it's not in the dictionary, it's certainly a word. Aug 31, 2023 at 18:52
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    Might be worth commenting that OED does have flatshare, but its earliest citation comes from 1951 and it took seventy years for it to make it into the dictionary in 2021.
    – Andrew Leach
    Aug 31, 2023 at 18:55
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    I’m voting to close this question because it is basically a complaint that the dictionary used by Microsoft Teams does not contain the word "screenshare."
    – Greybeard
    Aug 31, 2023 at 19:08
  • Does this answer your question? What are the criteria to adopt new words into English?
    – MetaEd
    Aug 31, 2023 at 19:28
  • Looking at this chart, the frequency of "screenshare" hasn't risen yet to the level of "textspeak", which was added by OED in 2022. Compare also "efax" which was popular for a short time and then disappeared from usage. I imagine lexicographers will add it when it shows it's up there with "textspeak".
    – MetaEd
    Aug 31, 2023 at 19:40

1 Answer 1

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Every time I offer to "get on a screenshare" with colleagues, Microsoft Teams marks "screenshare" with the dreaded red squiggly underline. How is "screenshare" not yet a word?!

Your main complaint is that the dictionary in Microsoft Teams does not contain "screenshare". You may wish to take this up with Mr W. Gates.

Microsoft does not decide what is a word and what is not.

If you delve into Microsoft Team files, there will be one that has a list (or refers to a list) of words. You may be able to add to this.

A right click might bring up the "Add to Dictionary" option, which I suggest you accept.

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    Might I gently suggest that this does not actually answer the question, which is about acceptance into mainstream dictionaries, not personal and application-specific custom dictionaries.
    – Andrew Leach
    Aug 31, 2023 at 19:10
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    @AndrewLeach Well, you can and you have done, but as the question is emphatically rendered as How is "screenshare" not yet a word?! and the basis for this claim is that some program does not accept it, then I feel that the question has been answered. If the OP is unaware of the time and effort required to amend dictionary entries, then I don't think that anything else is going to satisfy them.
    – Greybeard
    Aug 31, 2023 at 19:15
  • @Greybeard Reading the question, I see no claim that because "screenshare" is not accepted by Teams, it is not a word. I see a question.
    – MetaEd
    Aug 31, 2023 at 19:23
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    I am puzzled that the only person who has answered this question so far seems hostile to the merits of the question. Sep 1, 2023 at 2:15
  • My question is really about the mechanics of modern day dictionary maintenance (which is think is fair game within the "Word choice and usage" and "Etymology (history of words’ development)" topics--see english.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic). I'm just particularly interested in "screenshare" because I keep using it...perhaps incorrectly. Sep 1, 2023 at 2:18

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