Monday, August 9, 2010

wurfing and polkadodge

According to a recent story in The Telegraph titled Secret vault of words rejected by the Oxford English Dictionary uncovered:

Millions of "non words" which failed to make the dictionary lie unused in a vault owned by the Oxford University Press. [...] These words were recently submitted for use in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) but will remain dormant unless they enter common parlance in the future. Graphic designer Luke Ngakane, 22, uncovered hundreds of 'non words' as part of a project for Kingston University, London. He said: ''I was fascinated when I read that the Oxford University Press has a vault where all their failed words, which didn't make the dictionary, are kept. ''This storeroom contains millions of words and some of them date back hundreds of years. ''It's a very hush, hush vault and I really struggled to find out information about it because it is so secretive.

The OED Illuminati have all the power!

The story provides a small dictionary of non words at the end.  Personal fav: "earworm", a catchy tune that frequently gets stuck in your head. ewwwww...

UPDATE: Ben Zimmer debunks this story here. Alas, there is no OED Illuminati...or is that just what Ben wants us to think?

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