urban legends

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Dec 17 02:03:58 UTC 2001

At 7:59 AM -0500 12/17/01, James A. Landau wrote:
>DORD is a non-existent word entered into the second edition of Webster's New
>International Dictionary by mistake. The following is taken from The Story of
>Webster's Third: Philip Gove's Controversial Dictionary and Its Critics by
>Herbert C. Morton (1994):

This is a great story, although unfortunately the Webster's Second we
have here in our department is a later printing from which "dord" has
been brutally excised.  ("dordectomy", anyone?)

On the other hand, like every other Webster's Second, ours does
include that immortal entry:

TWAT.  Some part of a nun's garb.  Erron. Brown.

Of course in this case, as the OED entry makes a bit more explicit,
it's Browning's slip (from "Pippa Passes") that's showing, not the
unknown lexicographer's.


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