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'La-La Land,' now the dictionary definition of Los Angeles

The Oxford English Dictionary made some stellar updates on March 24, which are now online. For instance, "e-mail" is now "email." You can now, with reference to the OED, eat a banh mi sandwich or a taquito. And FYI (newly added), OMG is there too -- and it dates back to 1917. (OMG!).

But then there's this: La-La Land is in the newest edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, and it defines our fair city. Here's the definition:

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.

What is it, the sun, the palm trees, the nightclubs, the limos, the fact that Spiderman can get arrested on Hollywood Boulevard? Do we deserve this (new word) smack-talking from a bunch of dictionary writers? Maybe they should all be wearing (new word) tinfoil hats.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: A man dressed as Spiderman is arrested in 2009 for outstanding misdemeanor offenses after an alleged assult on Hollywood Boulevard. Credit: Mel Melcon / LA Times

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Truly it is a dark day in Gotham City when Spider-Man is arrested for keepin' it real, but Batman is allowed to continue making movies (sellout).

"a state of being out of touch with reality" - Sounds more like Wall Street than Los Angeles to me.

Bravo - La-La Land is Los Angeles with mostly La-La people - education will help.
Send La-La kids back East to help their minds clear and get ride of "like" in their speech.

Tinfoil hats are reserved for paranoid conspiracy theorists, not lame trash talking dictionary writers.

All one has to do is sift through the pro everything progressive comments in sections of the La La Land Times (love everything gay, love anything Obama, love illegal immigration, love big brother dipping into your lives and wallets, etc.) and you know without doubt that Oxford English pegged the definition spot on... "or to a state of being out of touch with reality".
You Brits might be a bit on the stuffy side, but you sure know your proper language.

Well the 'naw yawkahs' will be ecstatic at the 'assigned' moniker to our city - so be it. After all the one thing that drives 'naw yawkahs' nuts is the fact we don't give a rip what they think.

This is the most wonderful city in the world because everyone who comes here has a second, third or fourth chance to 'get it right'. We welcome people from every place on the planet.

The insecurity of Angelenos, their uncertainty about the greatness of their city, is exhibited in the thin-skinned responses to the official recognition of a colorful and amusing nickname that has been around since the 1970s. Neither this city nor its citizens will ever be regarded as "world class" until such criticisms are met with a shrug of the shoulders, a flip of the well-coiffed hair-do, a wink of a deeply-tanned eyelid, and a laid-back but effortlessly vocalized, "Whatever."

The Oxford Dictionary lost its credibility when they added Sarah Palin's made-up word "refudiate" to its list.

With peak oil and the worsening of the global financial/energy/food crisis, LA will be among the cities hit hardest and most immediately. With it's urban sprawl and dependence on discretionary income for tourism/hollywood it will be one of the first cities to fail. We are already seeing the ripple effects of the housing crisis in the IE slowly spreading to the beach cities. Cities like Chicago and NYC can weather the storm better.

Doesn't matter what others call our city. We are here by choice and love it.
A sunday in LA:
Mexican breakfast
hillside hike with views and views
japanese art museum
angels flight train ride
korean lunch
dodger stadium flea market
sunset blvd cruise
sunset at the beach
quiceanera party
punk rock acoustic show at the autry museum
japanese dinner with views
slow walk down hollywood blvd
slept with the windows open

The "LA LA" people in LA are not from here.
They are from everywhere else.
The "LA LA" people in LA are not from here.
They are from everywhere else. Their families and friends back home mock them and their choices by mocking their chosen town. seems like they left for good reason.

We love it!

I love LA

LA is not LA LA LAND, there is stark reality; you either got income or none; moving up or down or some other reality. People do not live as if they are
Elvis or Michael; Spider man tries a hustle, he makes money with his caper. Perhaps,

Bear in mind that the OED is a descriptive dictionary, not a prescriptive one. It describes how the language was and is used, not how it should be used. If they didn't include Los Angeles as a valid definition, they would be the ones in la-la-land.

"The Oxford English Dictionary made some stellar updates on March 24…"
No pun intended, right? Cute.

Stellar comes from the Latin word Stella, which means: "Star"

"la-la land n. can refer... to a state of being out of touch with reality…"

Ms. Kellogg your "starry-eyed" written words need no further proof that you are without a doubt living in la-la land.

I love the idealistic, dreamy - out of touch with reality kind of vibe Los Angeles inspires! It's bittersweet… why do you think midwesterners like myself move so far from home? We long to be out the cold, harsh winters and la-la land is the dreamer's ideal escape from the same-old, same-old cornfield reality. Anyhow, don't we all crave to lose touch with reality for a moment in time? It's a fun place to play pretend and maybe even - lose yourself for a bit. I think, Oxford nailed it! La-la land is a most-fittingly "stellar" way of describing this oddball, crazy city!

-Taryn Christine Eddy

"What is it?," the author asks. ANS: It's envy, plain and simple. I've traveled all around the USA and lived in a few places. No place in this country matches SoCal for beauty, fine weather and interesting times. So, we have a few problems and life isn't as kick-back as the stereotype. The rest of the country still envies us.

That's ok as long as they also incuded the commonly used "Londonistan" as a name to describe London

Los Angeles has a Four Seasons appetite and a Taco Bell budget. In a few years, merely servicing your insatiable debt will have you wishing it was all la-la. I've never lived in a community so bent on gold-plating everything and spending money they don't have.

Good riddance.

Hey, no place like home. Los Angeles, California. The best place to be, to be from or to go. Ski in the morning, surf in the afternoon! How is Chicago or New York in the winter? Jealous I would guess!

Once great........ Los Angeles now gets Younger,Poorer and Less Educated every single day, all under the golden sunshine and the best weather in the USA.
So La La Land is the perfect description!

"to a state of being out of touch with reality"...

Define "reality!" What most people think of as "reality" isn't....

It seems the only people who refer to California as "La La Land" are Easterners
who are stuck in their ways and old traditions. That's why they are stagnant.

Californians on the other hand are free thinkers. Take Silicon Valley, Bill Gates and the Film Industry. We define America. Most people are jealous, or moved here to get away from their closed minded, Bible thumping, white power hicks and preachers.

As the late great Timothy Leary once said, "We should build a wall around California to keep the close minded out." A little far fetched but inside every citizen of the world, there is a Californian dying to get out.

I can't believe how stupid some Angelenos actually are, you people actually believe the rest of the country and the world is jealous of as you sit in the stagnating cesspool, with great sunshine when there's no smog, you made for yourselve's?

You may tend to think of the outside world as empty and provincial, ironic beacause Angelenos are so provincial, but that is only because your state is surrounded by the empty dry West and that is all some of you know of what is beyond you apparently. Those of who are so unintelligent and want the shock of your life try venturing east of the Mississippi and to the East Coast where the vast majority of the country lives. You may think of America as one giant cowtown beyond you, but from an East Coaster's perspective, LA is the cowtown.

As one post so eloquently put it, you people don't care what's happening in New York or on the East Coast or beyond your own borders. Rest assured we waste no time thinking about you either. My apologies to the normal and intelligent citizens of Los Angeles, we have idiots everywhere.

I'd like to point out that the headline to this post is poorly written. Technically, Los Angeles is the definition of "la-la land," not the other way around.

Well. It is what it is. LA really is la-la land, even outside of Hollywood. I see average folks all the time who lead irreverent lifestyles. This sort of lackadaisical approach to life is completely socially acceptable in LA. It's even celebrated and made public.

I'll take the solemn concrete canyons of NY or Chicago any day, even in the depths of winter. Appreciate public architecture and street life, not vernacular architecture and the car culture. People already think this place is Las Vegas. For us normal LA residents, such as there are, there's not much we can do about it but sit tight and take it with dignity.

Hmmmm, missed the mark here didn’t they.
I am from the LA area and I would not say Los Angles is la la land by a long shot! Currently I have to live in the Chicago area and now that place is someplace I always refer to as la la land! The people out here live in a denial haze and have no clue just how bad things are and are always complaining. If it is snowy they complain if it is warm and sunny they complain if it rains they complain.
The roads are horrible and the traffic out here makes LA on a bad day look like fun! No place I have ever lived except here can it take 30 minutes or longer to go 15 miles from any place to any place any time of day or night!
The people out here are just short of being New York dumb! I want to come back to the land of sun and I will as soon as I can!

To all those who post hateful comments about Los Angeles, California, Obama, Democrats, Latinos, etc. on this forum:

"La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la, I can't hear you!"

The only th ing i wanna say is kudos to MIKE AND REINA you said all
thats LA

Smog be damned! It is never as bad as those who do not live here read about and believe that we are gasping for air. So not the case. What is the case, is that we have sun and warmth year round. Even our
'ah hem, winter' rainy season finds us living in mild weather. We have our issues here but they are minor and hopefully will remain so and free of a large scale earthquake or nuclear plant meltdown that is all in the news of late. Our state economy is no more broke than the rest of the country exponentially and all of us are floating along in that sad boat.
There is a line in a musical from the 1970's called, "Inner City." Which was about living in New York City and the preacher character in the musical said this line that has stuck with me all these, now senior years later and apropos to this article and some disgruntled commenters on this page:

"Children, what grips you in the city, Will grab you in the suburbs!"

Caveat Emptor, live wherever and love.

The police are always harassing the characters on the Boulevard. They give, hmmmm, lemme think, they give CHARACTER to the Boulevard. I've videotaped the police hassling Spiderman and others. It's not posted on my librarian blog, but on another called thehollyblog. I think the Hollywood police should concentrate on clearing out the drug dens that infest Hollywood, rather than shake down Batman, Spiderman, and even weird coo-coo birds. There's one guy who dresses up as a Transformer. He is so impressive. I want my picture taken with him! And btw the city needs to find shelter for the homeless. Hollywood is a cash cow for the city. They should take care of it, or it will get sick and slip back to its malodorous past.


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