Catherine Holahan at has written a nice, though brief, article about the trouble lexicographers have keeping up with all the new words that are being rapidly created and disseminated on the web (e.g. wiki, google, vlog, mash-up). Lexicographers have not traditionally allowed new words into their dictionaries until those words show evidence of consistent and sustained written use. Now that everyone’s writing on the web, the criteria for inclusion are much harder to define and apply. Though this story is not specifically about names, it discusses word-coining strategies relevant to naming, and mentions some words that have been derived from trademarks. It’s worth a look.

[tags]lexicon, lexicography, dictionaries, web language[/tags]

One Response to “BusinessWeek on new words”

  1. on 14 Apr 2007 at 9:44 pm Mostly Technical

    The web must cause lexicographers a lot of frustration … but in the end, perhaps dictionaries will lag only slightly behind common usage of language, rather than waiting for words to show up in print. What you read in newspapers and magazines probably does not reflect how people actually use words in the real world nearly so much as how people write on the web.

    But then will lexicographers be able to sort out what words and word usages endure and what are merely fads?

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply