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24

Aug

What Happens to Words When They Aren't Used Anymore? (Do They Go Extinct?)

(via The Guardian)

“Aerodrome” and “charabanc” are among the words presumed to have become extinct in the past year, according to lexicographers.

Dr Ruth O’Donovan, asset development manager at Collins Language Division in Glasgow, said: “We track words using a very large database of language which is a very large collection of various texts from spoken and written language, including books, newspapers and magazines so we can track language change over time.

“We track new words but we can also track for the frequency of existing words and when they get below a certain threshold we see them as being obsolete, though they may be used in very specialist circumstances.

“Such words are in our largest dictionary but we’ve categorised them as obsolete, as although they go out of general use they are still of interest to historians so it’s useful to have them in the dictionary. But we would exclude them from our smaller dictionaries.”

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    (via The Guardian)
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    Well, I’ve been watching with annoyance how over the years, ignorant mother-fuckers have insisted on calling lecterns...
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    your mission, should you choose tk accept it: adopt an obsolete word and bring it new life.
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