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Today is National Dictionary Day, celebrating the birth of lexicographer Noah Webster, who wrote An American Dictionary of the English Language, which defined an American version of the English lexicon for the first time. To celebrate, let us know your favorite all-American word. Continue reading...
Another week, another update from a dictionary publisher reflecting recent additions to the lexicon. Last week, it was Merriam-Webster rolling out new words, including such eyebrow-raisers as f-bomb and sexting. Now comes Oxford Dictionaries Online with their quarterly update, making space for some trendy neologisms, including lolz, ridic, and the nefarious mwahahaha. Continue reading...
If there's one thing that dictionary publishers have learned, it's that announcing new words added to their latest editions is good for generating some media attention — and also generating public hand-wringing over what the new entries say about the state of our society and our language. Continue reading...
The word marriage has been the subject of a huge amount of political and legal wrangling, and dictionaries have lately been caught in the crossfire. With major English dictionaries expanding their definitions of marriage to encompass same-sex unions, lexicographers have taken hits from liberals and conservatives alike. Those opposed to same-sex marriage would prefer that dictionaries maintain the traditional definition, while those on the other side of the debate argue that same-sex marriage shouldn't be treated as secondary. Lexicographers find themselves in a no-win situation. Continue reading...
The Internet makes it possible to publish dictionaries containing entries of any length, in any format, that are not necessarily subject to traditional rules or conventions. So it's fair to ask: is abandoning the traditional short-form definition, along with the paper it was once printed on, a case of throwing out the baby with the bathwater? Or is it a good opportunity to reinvent lexicography? Continue reading...
Yesterday, October 16, was National Dictionary Day, celebrated annually on the birthday of the great American lexicographer Noah Webster. Today the "Webster" name is practically synonymous with dictionaries, but how did the first "Webster's Dictionary" come to be? In this excerpt from The Forgotten Founding Father, Joshua Kendall recounts the publication of Webster's Compendious Dictionary in 1806, the first dictionary to bear his name and the first to feature his "American" spelling. Continue reading...
Earlier this week we featured an excerpt from Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis, an entertaining look at the world of competitive Scrabble, now published in a tenth anniversary edition with a special afterword on the latest Scrabble developments. Here we present another excerpt from the afterword, about the raging debates over what words to include in the official Scrabble dictionary. Continue reading...
2 3 4 5 6 Displaying 22-28 of 84 Articles

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