Call me a word geek, but I think these two items are worth taking a longer look at. The first is a video of Erin McKean, editor of The Oxford American Dictionary, which sparked my interest in that she appeared to be way too young to be an editor of a dictionary. However, the content of her sixteen minute video is engaging in that she discusses the lifespan of words, and the creation of new ones in their stead. It’s a great look at how the world of the dictionary, which I feel is something people are waiting to disappear, has found a new niche.
The second is something that, although McKean doesn’t make direct reference to, is alluded to in her talk. The Open Dictionary project is a study in the creation of new words to fit the changing world. Now, not many of these make it into our official dictionaries, but several have already cracked our lexicon. Words like “staycation” which appeared several times over this past summer (referring to those people who, due to high gas prices, chose to stay at home rather than travel to the beach or mountains), are becoming more commonplace. The Open Dictionary allows people to try their hand at word creation. Go play.