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Mouse potato hits the dictionary

Published: 9:47AM Friday July 07, 2006 Source: RNZ

Mouse potato and google as a verb are among this year's crop of new words and phrases accepted for inclusion in America's best-selling dictionary.

Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary searches the fields of science, technology, pop culture and industry each year for words that have become assimilated into the written English language.

Science and technology contributed ringtones, spyware, biodiesel and avian influenza.

Among pop culture's debutants are soul patch, which is a small growth of beard under a man's lower lip, and mouse potato - a person who spends as much time on the computer as his/her 1990s counterpart did on the couch.