For casual users, the Oxford English Dictionary has long been both monumental and unapproachable. As the biggest English-language dictionary, it has been more of a prize possession than an everyday reference. Few have space or money for a multivolume set. The popular two-volume set packaged with a magnifying glass is far less useful than a $20 collegiate that can be rested on one hand.
Karen Dunlap is retiring this month after 11 interesting years as president of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. During her tenure, she has seen an unprecedented contraction in the newspaper industry with a concurrent drop in professional development for journalists.
An exciting word-of-the-year season closed last week with the somewhat surprising selection of because as the American Dialect Society 2013 Word of the Year in a usage no doubt destined for banishment by the Lake Superior State University banished words list next year.
The American Dialect Society may seem like an erudite group, largely made up as it is of people who actually chose to study linguistics. But the discussions during this evening’s Word of the Year voting should be anything but staid. The debate is open to anyone who can fit into the conference room at 5:30 p.m. at the Minneapolis Hilton. Expect lively discussions that may border on heated at times—these people love their words.
The American Dialect Society and the Linguistic Society of America will set up shop at the Minneapolis Hilton next week and discuss some fascinating minutiae in language. Members of the ADS will start with a talk Thursday on "The Canadian short vowels in motion" and end on Saturday with "Regional differences in tolerance for contraction." LSA members can hear about such topics as "The bilabial trill in Port Sandwich (Vanuatu) in 1774."
Holiday lists for copyeditors often involve searching Etsy for purses made out of books and necklaces made out of Scrabble tiles. But the holiday season also brings end-of-year lists, and two significant lists were released this week.