anti-word of the day

January 3, 2007

Dear Sirs and/or “Madams” associated with the Oxford English Dictionary

You may consider this posting as an official letter of complaint. For the last few weeks I have been engaging in a bit of “lexiblography” (or, if you prefer, “wordblogging”), and I frequently use your dictionary in my research. Most of my posts have been philological in nature; I’m always trying to understand the development of meanings. I, like many a lad in this world, have a tender heart, and long for the return of obsolete and archaic nouns.

So it is with great difficulty that I write to you today to express my sorrow at your inclusion of the word, “bouncebackability” in your fine repository of words. This is perhaps the most idiotic neologism I have ever encountered. While I’m not surprised that Sportscasters have invented this bastard of a word, I’m shocked that as reputable a paper as the Economist would have cited it.

1991 Economist 5 Oct. 20/2 New York will again demonstrate its bouncebackability

For shame, Sir, for shame.

Do we really need such a compound ruining our language? Has English suddenly morphed into German? Does “ability to bounce back” reek of establishmentarianism?

I do hope that your dictionary will remove this odious draft entry, and focus on solving the logical inconsistency of its entry “poopy, adj.

In shallah,


2 Responses to “anti-word of the day”

  1. Harley Says:

    Any post that mentions the great OED is a great post. Making your blog the best blog ever, considering your archives.

  2. […] blow a 3 goal lead in the final doesn’t even upset me; the Ducks ability to comeback (their bouncebackability) wouldn’t rate very highly on the cinematic revenge scale (see Kill Bill, wherein the Bride […]

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