Tuesday, January 13, 2015

MY JOB IS NOT TO DEFINE WHAT A WORD IS. THAT IS YOUR JOB:  Stefan Fatsis, author of the books Word Freak and [HU&L listeners know the rest], does a deep dive into the modern dictionary, and whether it's still needed:
... a 200-year-long commitment to chronicling the state of American English, a commitment that, hokey as it might sound, Merriam takes very seriously. 
“The interesting thing about walking around this floor is that you’re actually watching knowledge get created,” Morse says as we tour Merriam’s editorial department. “Some editor is sitting down with a bunch of citations and is drawing conclusions about the meaning of a word that no one has drawn before. Every day here the editors contribute to the sum store of human knowledge. They didn’t aggregate stuff that other people did. They actually created a new piece of knowledge. For me, that’s just as cool as it gets.”

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