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Posts Tagged: dictionaries

Examining the Dictionary for Sexism

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We need to know that the dictionary, as an institution, has a cultural power beyond the sum of its parts…And that does carry with it a responsibility to realize that we exist within that tension, and to not always hide behind the idea of descriptivist lexicography Over at the New Yorker, Nora Caplan-Bricker compiles stories […]

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Impending Death of a Dictionary

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Much like the parochial vocabulary it strives to catalogue, the Dictionary of American Regional English is in danger of extinction. A stopgap crowdfunding campaign is currently open to support the project in the short term, but the long-term forecast for the entity protecting such gems as “flumadiddle” (nonsense), “slippery jims” (pickles), and “rantum scooting” (going […]

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Out With the Old, In With the New

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We always hear about new words being added to the dictionary—things like acronyms are being rewarded with official word legitimacy. So, we’ve learned that the dictionary can stay modern, but what about those antiquated words that have been lost from the English vernacular? The Oxford Concise Dictionary has dropped around 200 words to make room […]

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Print Dictionaries or Bust

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Dictionaries, and reference books in general, are in trouble. These days there’s more googling than reference book-perusing. John Walsh reflects on the dictionaries that once acted as writers’ essential companions, the inherent treasures of print dictionaries and the perils of online dictionaries. “It’s easy to feel a nostalgic throb for the old reference library on […]

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This Dictionary Has Oral Sex In It!

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I just learned from Jacket Copy that “Menifee school district in Riverside County has removed the 10th edition of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary from all school shelves after a parent complained about a student running across “oral sex” in its pages.” It’s thanks to dirty dictionaries like that one that I decided to become a writer.

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