The graphic symbol which has adorned T-shirts and bumper stickers for decades, has officially been recognized as part of our language and has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).
The graphic symbol will now be found alongside the word “Heart” and listed as a verb meaning “to love.” It is the first of its kind to be included in the comprehensive reference work. It really doesn’t’ get more official than this considering the OED is the leading authority on the English language.
According the The Daily Mail, the “<3" isn't the only modern term being included in the new revision: wags (as in ‘wives and girlfriends’) and muffin top (‘a protuberance of flesh above the waistband of a tight pair of trousers’. […] ’tinfoil hat’ – a reference to a type of headwear believed by some to protect the wearer from mind control or surveillance – and ’scrunchy’, an adjective describing a wrinkled appearance.