World Wide Words

WWW tries to document at least some part of the shifting English wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, the background to words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech. The Words web site is the archive of explorations that have appeared in their free newsletters, but the newsletters have more than what’s archived, “including discussion by readers, serendipitous encounters with unfamiliar language, and tongue-in-cheek tut-tuttings at errors perpetrated by sloppy writers.” (I’m hoping to never appear in the latter.) Curator Michael Quinion of the U.K. provides citations and advice for the Oxford English Dictionary (and wrote a third of the entries for the second edition of the Oxford Dictionary of New Words), and wrote a weekly New Words column in the London Telegraph.

(This entry is an expanded and updated version of a write-up originally published 31 October 2004.)

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