Friday, July 7, 2006

Dictionary Might Be Turning 200 But Still Hip With The Times

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – The Merriam- Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary is turning 200 this year but that doesn’t mean the bulky book is behind the times when it comes to recording new slang words.

In fact, the dictionary just added about a hundred new words to its ever growing list including such gems as “unibrow,” “drama queen” and “ringtone.”

Associate Editor Peter Sokolowski says thousands of words are tracked every year and the most significant ones are considered for inclusion in the dictionary.

Says Sokolowski: “We look everywhere from Rolling Stone and Vibe Magazine to soup labels and menus to see what words are being used.”

While the internet has accelerated the creation of new words as an art form, Sokolowski says proper nouns – such as “Brangelina” – are not considered for the dictionary, but are reserved for encyclopedic volumes because of its cultural or historical significance.

Other words added this year include:

  • “Mouse potato,” a person who spends a great deal of time using a computer;

  • “Soul patch,” the small growth of whiskers under a man’s lower lip; and

  • Finally, there’s “polyamony,” which is the practice of having more than one open romantic relationship at a time.

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