"La-La Land" Enters the Oxford English Dictionary "La-La Land" Enters the Oxford English Dictionary
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"La-La Land" Enters the Oxford English Dictionary

by Alissa Walker

April 1, 2011


Last week OMG and LOL, among other initialisms and symbols, were added to the Oxford English Dictionary. But there's another curious addition to the dictionary of record's latest update. "La-la land" is now an official term for Los Angeles:

la-la land n. can refer either to Los Angeles (in which case its etymology is influenced by the common initialism for that city), or to a state of being out of touch with reality—and sometimes to both simultaneously.

Is it just me (I'm a staunch defender of L.A.), or is that an awfully disparaging definition for the city? The little jab at the end almost seems deliberately snarky. Perhaps the people who edit the Oxford English Dictionary—who, it's important to note, hail from New York City—are just jealous.

In spite of our new designation—or perhaps because of it—Hidden Los Angeles launched a contest asking its community to capture themselves doing their most "iconic L.A." activities. With plenty of contenders posing with celebrities, lots of Walk of Fame terrazzo, and, of course, the requisite standing-behind-the-Hollywood-sign shots, the contest gallery proves that we Angelenos can fully embrace our sometimes surreal city when we choose to, and happily LOL at ourselves in the process.

What do you think? Should the term "la-la land" define L.A.? We encourage you to tell the folks at the Oxford English Dictionary what you think.

Send a comment to the Oxford English Dictionary staff

Vote in Hidden Los Angeles's "Iconic L.A." contest

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Photo by Jennifer Reece

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"La-La Land" Enters the Oxford English Dictionary