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That Plonker is One Mucky Pup...

oed.jpgNow that you have this year’s assignment on banished words, how about helping to rewrite the dictionary?

The folks at The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) are trying to find the earliest verifiable usage of every word in English (currently around 600,000, according to their count). In connection with their BBC show Balderdash & Piffle, they have released a list of words of uncertain origin (e.g., “round robin”) as well as words already defined and sourced that they suspect might have an earlier usage (e.g., “identity theft,” 1991 Boston Globe article). Amateur etymologists are encouraged to join the search for the earliest usage of any of these words; books, magazines, movies, sound recordings, letters, and other dated material are all acceptable sources.

The OED is also seeking submissions of new words. Though you might want to check out their updates before you get too excited—“texting” has already been added.

[Note: plonker, mucky pup]

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