Monday, March 06, 2006

Required Weeding

Fascinating article by Grant Barrett in Lost magazine on all the real words that aren't in dictionaries. Often lexicographers must weed them out or decide against including them in the first place (as happens with the vast number of chemical names):

For lexicographers, cutting entries is an act of desperation brought on by a goat rodeo of printer's signatures, page counts, and paper costs, of trim size and product lines, and by a second-guessing of previous editorial decisions. More entries mean more costs. To cut costs, you must control the number of entries. So editors in charge must ask themselves, Which of the children shall we apprentice to the knacker-man so that we can afford to support the rest of the family?
Read the whole thing here.


Anonymous daz said...

Just my opinion, but I think the New Oxford American dictionary is terrific, and the 2nd edition even terrificker -- especially now that you don't have to struggle for the pronunciation guide, formerly on page xiii.

It has a nifty new method for collecting meanings of a word into associated groups.

Its only downside for me is that it's a bit heavy to carry around wherever you go. Much as I love fondling paper, I hope it comes out in a Franklin electronic version.

7:21 AM  
Blogger Martha said...

I like NOAD, too, daz. But does this mean you didn't break down and get a PDA to put it on?? Believe me, I was tempted when I realized you could put NOAD on a handheld!

8:32 PM  

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