(Roughly) Daily

For the bookish Brangelina…

Readers may recall earlier missives on the roles that dictionary editors play in deciding which words get added to or deleted from dictionaries– e.g. “It’s alive! (the language edition)“– and on nascent efforts to allow the owners of the language (those of us who use it) to have a say in those decisions– e.g., “Vote!.”

Now the good folks at Oxford University Press (more specifically, at Oxford Dictionaries) have made a bolder and even more democratic move:  they’ve introduced Save the Words— an elegant interface that allows one to adopt a word– promise to use it– in an effort to save it.

Your correspondent urges readers to give themselves the lubency of providing these needy words a home– of sparing these worthy parts-of-speech the vacivity of retreat into a final latibule.

As we reach for our OEDs, we might wish an altitudinous Happy Birthday to William S. Burroughs, the author (Naked Lunch; Junkie), poster-child of the Beat movement… and perhaps the only person ever to make money legally from heroin (apart from shareholders of the Bayer company, which invented heroin and marketed it as a non-addictive cure for morphine addiction and coughs); he was born in St. Louis on this date in 1914, and once observed:

Language is a virus from outer space.

William S. Burroughs, commemorated

Written by (Roughly) Daily

February 5, 2009 at 1:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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