Jul 12, 2007
TELENOVELA is in...the Merriam Webster Dictionary
The news is all over the world: the word TELENOVELA will be included in the eleventh edition of the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary:
Main entry: tel·e·no·vela
Etymology: Spanish, from tele- tele- + novela novel, serial drama
: a soap opera produced in and televised in or from many Latin-American countries
This inclusion in one of the English language's most popular dictionaries legitimizes telenovelas. The term has been accepted into the mainstream. However, the definition still hinges on the soap opera...why not the other way around? Also the 1976 date seems a bit arbitrary to me since it isn't the date of the first telenovela, or the most famous.
I do like, though, the strong connection between the term and Latin America.
It will be interesting now to see if the word begins to be included more in conversations, news stories and everyday life interactions in the U.S. and other English-speaking countries.