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Whose Words Are They?

Logomachists and bloviators | The Times

Sir, It isn’t only language purists who will be incensed by the decision by Collins to allow members of the public to submit suggestions for inclusion in the online version of their dictionary .....

... Allowing that bulwark of definition, the dictionary, to become more democratic, can only lead to the proliferation of the view that words can simply be defined as one pleases and this in turn can only lead to greater confusion where one should strive for clarity.
Harrington Rory Booth
Leadenham, Lincs

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.' 'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.' 'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all.'

Comments

Mr. Booth should watch the movie Balls of Fire or at least compare the plays of Shakespeare to the Domesday Boke. No, the employees of The Oxford Dictionary do not create our language, they record the words we use.

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