Bulletin of a New England Library Scientist (BUNELS)

November, 2012 – Volume 1, Number 3


By Bill Uricchio, University of Connecticut Libraries

Like many librarians, I have great admiration for the Oxford English Dictionary.  My admiration is primarily for its scope and the historical roots of its contents, but also for the somewhat goofy characters who set out to make it happen in the first place.

Although I own one of the two-volume complete sets, replete with miniscule font and magnifying glass, and a more heavily used “shorter” version, I have never thought much about the OED’s parent organization.  So, I was recently surprised to discover that they have for a number of annums selected a “Word of the Year”.

Recent “winners” include unfriend (via Facebook, 2009), refudiate ( Sarah Palin’s blending of refuse and repudiate, 2010), squeezed middle (a phrase “word” which defines the current state  of the middle class …

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