Thursday, January 29, 2009

Erin McKean on lexicography

This evening I happened upon a lecture given by dictionary editor Erin McKean at Google. It's worth watching.

From the Deep Vertical blog:
Erin McKean speaks at Google: Erin McKean, editor and lexicographer for the New Oxford American Dictionary, tells Google the ten things she wishes people knew about dictionaries, how people go about making new words, and how lexicographers use Google.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Word of the year: bailout

The American Dialect Society's word of the year for 2008 is "bailout," defined as "the rescue by the government of companies on the brink of failure, including large players in the banking industry."

My favorite entry is the winner of the Most Creative category: "recombobulation area," defined as "an area at Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee in which passengers that have just passed through security screening can get their clothes and belongings back in order." (I adore the term "discombobulated.")

The weirdest entry was "thought showers," which had a decent showing in the Most Euphemistic category. It's listed as "coined by a British city council because the synonym 'brainstorming' was said to be offensive to epileptics."

My prediction for 2009? I suspect "sustainable" (gack) will have a strong showing.