I took the summer off, but the Oxford English Dictionary didn’t. News has it they just released a list of new words they added to the dictionary. That’s nice.
But here’s what I’d like to see: a list of all the words they remove from the dictionary. I’m sure it happens with every revision – archaic words that have fallen out of use are culled from the language by the vocabulary monitors.
Which is fine, but I’m curious about this, and I think a good book idea would be to publish a book of all the words that have been removed.
But since this would probably bring some of them back into popular usage, they’d then have to be re-added to the dictionary again, and I have a feeling that the dictionary people discourage this flip-flopping. Merriam-Webster’s website wants us to forget about these words, but that is like forgetting your history. A book containing all these words would be a handy and culturally-important thing, and therefore should exist.
But oh, I guess it does – it’s called “old dictionaries.” Oh well.
Update: Hey, this is neat: OED has a “vault of failed words.”