In contrast with their snooty cousins over at the Oxford University Press (who also have ‘dubstep’ and the music variation of the word ‘grime’ defined in their dictionary), the prestigious (?) Chambers Dictionary is something like a more carefully monitored Urban Dictionary, but with a slightly smaller number of hooligans running the show. In their new edition of the dictionary, Chambers defines ‘dubstep’ as a “type of electronic popular dance music developed from drum and bass,” and ‘grime’ as a “style of popular music combining elements of dancehall and hip-hop.” If you ask me, both of these definitions are woefully vague and unspecific.
For comparison’s sake, let’s take a look at an Urban Dictionary definition of ‘dubstep’, selected entirely non-randomly. User carsoncb articulately characterizes the genre, with the passion it deserves, as “the music that is created from transformers having sex.” Oh, of course! That dubstep! Point, Urban Dictionary.
Other words included among the 200 new additions to the Chambers Dictionary are: ‘boyband,’ defined as “a pop group, targeting mainly the teenage market, composed of young males chosen because they look good and can dance and sometimes even sing,” and ‘beatboxing,’ described as the imitation of “an electronic drum machine using the voice.” Well, how about that? ‘Beatboxing’ finally made the cut. Pardon me while I imagine the staff at Chambers carefully navigating this newfangled internet thing, wondering what us young rapscallions are up to these days.
• Chambers: http://www.chambersharrap.co.uk