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Revolting Fashion | Main | Hey Laaa-dies!


August 01, 2004

Added Words

Webster Adds 'MP3,' 'Pleather' and Others

"Pleather," "body wrap," "MP3," and "information technology" are among the words and phrases that have gotten the nod from the editors at Merriam-Webster in the annual update of their Collegiate Dictionary.

When a word or new usage becomes used with some frequency by the popular press that it becomes a candidate for the dictionary.

It typically takes 20 years of use for a word to become prominent enough to merit a place in an abridged dictionary, such as the Collegiate, he said.

"Pleather" a plastic fabric made to look like leather first appeared in 1982 and "body wrap," referring to a beauty treatment, appeared in 1974.

But the Internet has speeded that up. And some of this year's new words had to wait a fraction of that time.

Darmstadtium was officially approved as the name for element No. 110 in 2003 and MP3 as the name for a computer file or the audio file format first appeared in 1996.

Goggles have been part of the English language and used as eye protection since 1715. But it is only recently that the noun has been added.

Do you have a word that should be in the Dictionary?

Is there a word you don't think belongs in the Dictionary?

What are they and why?

If a word as common as "goggles" takes a couple of centuries what hope do I have for the addition of the word "choo" and / or "Choo". What might a choo be? It is a shoe / pair of shoes designed by Jimmy Choo - - no one says they are wearing Choo shoes - - they are simply referred to as Choo and / or Chooes. I like the word and think it's a good one- - maybe not to you, but then I also bet you aren't in a twelve step shoe program. :)

As for words that shouldn't be in the Dictionary - - I don't think the word F&@K or any of its counter-parts belong in the dictionary. I have a Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary here on my desk and when I was thinking what word shouldn't be in the dictionary I decided on this one because if someone doesn't know what this word means by the time they'd be using a dictionary of this type then I think the correct definition, spelling and usage of the word is the least of their problems.

Posted by Uptown Girl


Posted by Lawren at August 1, 2004 11:21 AM

You Said

I always like to know what words have been removed so I can start using them again.

I'm a rebel like that.

Says: Rori at August 1, 2004 05:24 PM

I don't think "A" should be in the dictionary. I mean, entries for articles like that are huge and hell, if you don't know what it means, what are you doing with a dictionary in the first place?

As for curse words, I don't see the problem. People use them, and not infrequently. Dictionaries are descriptive, not proscriptive.

Says: Kevin at August 1, 2004 10:14 PM

If ebonics start showing up in the dictionary, we are all in trouble. Fah shizzle.

Says: garybibb at August 1, 2004 11:27 PM

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