Find the best quotes by Erin McKean.
It’s difficult to choose a Word of the Year in the year that you’re in. It’s one of those things that hindsight makes more apparent.…
I think we would all like to believe that every new event demands a new word. But we’re environmentally conscious with our words. We recycle…
Writers who hedge their use of unfamiliar, infrequent, or informal words with ‘I know that’s not a real word,’ hoping to distance themselves from criticism,…
Twitter has already birthed an entire ecosystem of other sites that extend its power or interact with it. But Twitter isn’t just a platform for…
Part of the joy and pleasure of English is its boundless creativity: I can describe a new machine as bicyclish, I can say that I’m…
You can limit the number of invitations to an in-person fashion show, but you can’t police the Internet.
Objections to verbification in English tend to be motivated by personal taste, not clarity. Verbed words are usually easily understood. When a word like ‘friend’…
Words take on many different meanings.
What I’m interested in is how people are reading and writing English.
We think people go to a dictionary to find out what a word means. Most people go to the dictionary because they don’t want to…
There are very few good ways to get publicity for a dictionary.
Twitter is like overhearing people’s conversations, which is exactly what dictionary editors have been wishing we could do for years.
There are hundreds of thousands of words that aren’t in any print dictionary today… because there’s no space for all of them.
Most of the words you know and love and use every day are not words you learned by looking them up in a dictionary and…
If anything is guaranteed to annoy a lexicographer, it is the journalistic habit of starting a story with a dictionary definition.
Ideally my goal is, before I die, to have some information about every word that’s ever been used in print.
All words have life cycles.
We’ve been using ‘rejuvenate,’ meaning to restore youth, to make young again, as a verb for at least 200 years.
The use of food metaphors is really well established English… Somebody is a peach, a hot tamale.
Lexicographers are language reporters.
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