How To Invent a Word

Lots of people try to submit invented words to the dictionary, a futile effort. But comedian and writer Alex Horne is making a serious attempt to get one of his invented words in the Oxford English Dictionary. It’s a long shot, but he is going about it in the right way. He understands the key is to actually get the word used by a variety of people first, and only then, after it is actually part of the language, will it be included in dictionaries. Read about Horne’s attempt here.

But Horne is wrong about one thing. Beyoncé Knowles did not invent the word bootylicious. It was floating around the hip-hop scene for years before Knowles used it as the title for one of her songs. While she certainly popularized the word, bootylicious probably (and in the case of slang dictionaries, certainly) would have made it into the dictionary without her help.

(Hat tip to the DSNA Blog.)

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