Friday, September 21, 2007

Lĭt / uh / ruh / sē Äw / fĭs

Please don't get 'snitty' if you don't like to 'regift'
It's not as easy as you may think to get into Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.
L A Times: 9.21.07: by Adam Gorlick, Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- The year was 1989, and "snitty" started off strong. The word popped up in the Los Angeles Times in January, then appeared in the March and August editions of People magazine.

It was one of hundreds of words being tracked by editors at Merriam-Webster, who are always searching for new terms to enter into the Collegiate Dictionary.

But something went wrong. The editors, who were eager to define "snitty" as "disagreeably agitated," no longer saw the word in national newspapers and magazines. "Snitty" fizzled. Although it was commonly used in conversation, Merriam-Webster's editors could find only three examples of its use in print. They had no choice but to reject it.

They began noticing it again 2005, first in Entertainment Weekly and then in several newspapers. With about a dozen examples of "snitty" being published, the term is now a likely shoo-in for next year's Collegiate.

Around this time each year, Lowe goes through a list of hundreds of the newly flagged words and sees how many citations were made for each. If there were at least eight, the word becomes a strong contender to be passed on to John Morse, Merriam-Webster's president and final arbiter on which words go into the dictionary.

The list now on its way to Morse contains "snitty" and 76 other words, from "air-kiss" (exactly what you think it is), to "za" (shorthand for "pizza"). READ ON

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