American lexicography continues to grow, much as the English language that it studies grows. How does an editor keep up with all the new words? Various sources are available to learn what’s new.
Copy Editor’s Dictionary Update
The bi-monthly editing newsletter Copy Editor publishes “Dictionary Update” each print issue, bringing its readers up-to-date with new words and their meanings. For instance, in the August-September 2005 issue, they include the following new words:
FYI, Copy Editor's "Dictionary Update" is prepared by Jesse Sheidlower, the principal editor of the North American unit of the Oxford English Dictionary. His DU entries come from the OED files.
Wired’s Jargon Watch
The monthly Wired magazine (print and online) includes five or so new words from technology each issue under “jargon watch.” For instance, in the September 2005 issue they include the following:
• non-analytical positive
• meat puppet
Have you seen a word but you can’t find it in the dictionary? It might be new to the lexicon. One sure place to look is the Wikimedia Foundation’s “Wiktionary” or “Wikipedia.” Caution: Wiktionary and Wikipedia are not static sources of information. The Wikimedia Foundation describes the Wiktionary in this way:
Wiktionary is a free multilingual dictionary and thesaurus that's being
written collaboratively on this web site. Anybody can edit any article,
and a record of changes is kept. Since December–2002, we have created
92,802 definitions or articles.
Still, having a fluid definition may beat no definition in a pinch. And they provide definitions for words in dozens of languages.
I will bring you new sources in this weblog as I find them.