Tag Archives: oxford english dictionary

New Words and Old Words and Book Idea

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.

Oxford English Dictionary

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.”

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