If it's not in the dictionary, it must not be a word

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Jun 9 19:06:16 UTC 2006

>In this post yesterday, I misspelled Keith Cowing's name.  My apologies.

Too late; you've given all of us "linguistic police" officers a bad
name.  (See Update #2 in Ben's post at
http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/003240.html and
the brief post by Cowing in the link.  Wonder if Cowing's disparaging
reference to "Lanuage Log" was another instance of the Law at work...)


>>  -----Original Message-----
>>  From: Mullins, Bill AMRDEC
>>  Sent: Thursday, June 08, 2006 6:04 PM
>>  To: 'American Dialect Society'
>>  Subject: If it's not in the dictionary, it must not be a word
>>  http://www.nasawatch.com/archives/2006/06/experts_agree_s.html
>>  Keith Cowling writes a blog called "Nasa Watch", where he
>>  criticizes the government space agency.  Here, he's
>>  complaining about the use of "synergizing", which he can't
>>  find in dictionaries.
>>  To the extent that his point is that NASA folks may speak in
>>  a way that is obfuscatory, fine, but his example is pretty
>>  bad (and wrong, to boot).  "Synergize" is listed as a verb in
>>  his dictionaries, and the OED as well.
>>  Apparently he doesn't know that the various tenses sometimes
>>  are, but often are not, broken out separately from the root
>>  verb in dictionaries.
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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