Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Could be the start of something......

I read a comment from PT to MaryB where he claims to be among a select (depends what you're selecting them for) group of people who have invented a couple of new colloquiallisms, namely spoon (fool or idiot) and its antonym, lord (very clever).

This led me to consider printing out this correspondence just in case the Oxford English Dictionary will ever in the future want to research these words and their beginnings. You see I have been watching the very interesting and entertaining programme 'Balderdash & Piffle' (BBC2, Mondays) and it appears that the OED call on the general public to help them research their work and decide what to put in the book. For example, have you got any written evidence of the word 'minger' before 1995? Or can any cricketer out there tell them why an unplayable delivery is now known as a 'jaffa'? This is an example of a term that isn't yet in the OED. The earliest reference so far refers to Australian Shane Warne's delivery to Mike Gatting of England in 1993 but is there anything written before this?

Please go to where you will find all sorts of interesting words, their meanings and you never know you may be able to help in compiling the dictionary. I know that this is going to be another source of where my time goes!

However please be warned. If you gor the the OED's website in the hope of looking up a word or two, it will cost you: £23 ($30)/month or £230 ($295)/year.

1 comment:

MaryB said...

Have you read Simon Winchester's history of the OED, The Meaning of Everything? The OED is one of the seven wonders of the world, in my mind. And Cambridge passed on it (noted as probably the greatest publishing mistake in history).

Loved adding PT's spoon/Lord references to my repetoire!