Monday, November 16, 2009

Erin McKean Redefines the Dictionary - Live Blogging as Proofreading Practise: Shayna Fehr

Lexicography, I've never heard of it. McKean said it's "material science". She also said bits create words. Deciding which words are bad and easy is not fun. Both good and bad words are still words; therefore, they should have a place in the dictionary. Did you know that dictionaries have not changed since Queen Victoria, and that the F word was allowed into the dictionary in 1965?

Computers don't do much else but speed up the process of making a dictionary. The design of this book has never changed. Online dictionaries are only paper thrown unto the screen. They don't include any new words, that the written dictionary don't have. The only thing the internet has done to improve the dictionary is searchablility. Words that aren't in the dictionary are not bad, the dictionary is just too small to hold them. How do you know if a word is real? Erin thinks that, "They are the tools we use to build the expressions of our thoughts... If you love a word, it becomes real." Love makes things real, if you love a word you should use it. The dictionary is only part of the language. It is possible to make it the whole language - when there is enough people adding to it, and not taking out the "bad" words.

1 comment:

  1. This may be personal choice, but I believe the F word should have " " around it. The first paragraph is written very well and leads nicely into the second. The second sentence of the second paragraph is slightly awkward to read. Unto should be changed to onto. The post is concluded well.