Kafkaesque: A Word So Overused It Has Lost All Meaning? by Alison Flood [The Guardian] On Monday night, Han Kang’s strange, disturbing, brilliant novel The Vegetarian won the Man Booker International prize. Shortly afterwards, dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster announced that searches for the word “Kafkaesque” had “spiked dramatically” in the wake of her win, because the novel “has been described by its British publishers (and by a number of reviewers) as Kafkaesque”.
"While Friday marked a historic victory for the LGBTQ community, it turns out there’s another advancement to celebrate: Last week, the Oxford English Dictionary released a list of 500 new entries, and among the more notable additions was cisgender. The word —which is defined as 'designating a person whose sense of personal identity matches their gender at birth'— is seen as an opposite and complementary term to transgender." Why the Oxford English Dictionary's Addition of Cisgender Matters (Anna Diamond, Slate) [more inside]
The OED in two minutes is a visualisation of the change and growth of the English language since 1150, showing the frequency and origin of new words year by year. Notes and explanations about the project. [more inside]
The Secret History of Typography in the Oxford English Dictionary. Although sadly not about font design or kerning, Nick Martens' exploration in the OED is still pretty interesting. [more inside]
Give me a Glasgow kiss! The OED's newest English words. Glasgow kiss, n. [ Glasgow, the name of a city in west central Scotland + KISS n., in humorous allusion to the reputation for violence accorded to some parts of the city. Cf. earlier Liverpool kiss s.v. LIVERPOOL n.] A head-butt.
Fuckwit, superwaif, infoholic, and blamestorming! The December 2003 quarterly update of the Oxford English Dictionary now available. (Scroll to the bottom of the list for the naughty new words). So what's your fav newly "authorized" word?
Uber-dictionary! If you're a student and get your access through a university, there's a fairly good chance the university subscribes to the Oxford English Dictionary online. Which means you get the OED too! regardless, it's 100x the dictionary m-w is.
So you read the "Madman and the Professor" and thought it interesting. Edward Ruloff is another murdering philologist with the extra cachet that his 1871 trial for killing a dry-goods clerk was one of the first to test the admissability of photographs as evidence. The Supreme Court agreed with lower rulings that they could be allowed; Ruloff was hanged. In 1845, he had been accused of murdering his wife and child and was imprisoned for ten years for the abduction of his wife, but without a corpus delecti, he could not be convicted for the murder of his child. This man is writing a biography of Ruloff; a publisher could do a lot worse.