[Ads-l] "Kryptonite" Finally in OED

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Thu Jun 25 12:08:45 UTC 2015


Some on this list may recall that I have long advocated that the OED include words that are important in specific popular fictional works (novels, films, comics, etc.), regardless of whether the word in question has developed figurative meanings outside of the specific fiction.  One of my main examples has been the term "kryptonite."

I now see that the latest release of additions to the OED includes an entry for "kryptonite."  I don't know that my campaign had anything to do with this, nor that my general argument has gained any acceptance (the OED's addition of "kryptonite" may well have been based on figurative meanings outside of the Superman context).  But I am still gratified by the addition of this word.

It is interesting that the OED entry shows that "kryptonite" was used in the "Adventures of Superman" radio series long before it was used in the comics.

Fred Shapiro

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


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