urban legends

Joanne M. Despres jdespres at MERRIAM-WEBSTER.COM
Mon Dec 17 16:20:05 UTC 2001

I vaguely recall having heard that story during one of Ward Gilman's
defining lessons (Gil has all the dirt on M-W flub-ups, including The
Third International's chateaubriand sense 1, which, by some
strange coincidence also appeared in a dictionary established for
the express purpose of correcting W3!)  FWIW, I checked the
marked-up editorial copy of the 1934 printing of W2, and Rima's
friend is absolutely right -- dord is there, with a delete mark running
through it. The date of the correction is given as 11-21-40, and it
appears first the 1947 printing of the book.

Well, the wonder is that more mistakes like that don't get through.
Preparing a new dictionary for publication is, in some ways, like
working at a rest stop McDonald's in southern Connecticut during
Christmas season.


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