RE: Today's exercise in misunderstanding English

Subject: RE: Today's exercise in misunderstanding English
From: "Latella, Vincent" <VINCENT -dot- LATELLA -at- saic -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2009 13:22:45 -0400

"'Updation' is in Webster's "New Millenium" dictionary. I have been
seeing it in various software release notes for at least 10 years now.

Gene Kim-Eng"

With all due respect, Gene, the fact that it appears in *a* dictionary
does not exactly give that word (or any word) automatic credibility.

(I don't know whether or not you were suggesting that, but before we see
"updation" popping up all over the place, please bear with me for a

First off, because of the rise of free internet dictionaries, the idea
of a "respected" dictionary or "dictionary of record" is a little less
solid since dictionary publishers are trying desperately to draw
attention to themselves through PR movies like adding controversial or
neologisms (*cough*updation*cough*) to their dictionaries.

Moreover, saying it comes from Webster's isn't an iron-clad seal of
approval either; when Webster published his dictionary back in the day,
it was pre-copyright, so tons of other people started publishing
Webster's dictionaries and now ANYONE can use that name. That's why
there are so many variations on the Webster name.

SO... where does that leave us? Library reference personnel and
publishers will sometimes say that the dictionary of record is Webster's
New World dictionary (and I believe that's also the New York Times'
dictionary of record). Merriam-Webster's is also widely used by media.
Also widely respected is the American Heritage Dictionary. For any of
these, I would recommend the "college / collegiate" edition, none of
this "millennium" or "student" stuff.

If anybody has a recently printed copy of any of the dictionaries I just
mentioned, I'd be interested in hearing weather or not "updation"
appears in it. I just looked "updation" up in the online version of
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, and it does *not* appear. For
the Anglophiles among us, I also searched in the Oxford English
Dictionary, and again - *no dice.*

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Today's exercise in misunderstanding English: From: Keith Hood
Re: Today's exercise in misunderstanding English: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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