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January 25, 2010 | By David Kelly
It may be the last word in spelling bees and Scrabble, but Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary now faces a new if unlikely notoriety: being too sexy for its own good. That was the verdict from at least one parent in Menifee last week who called the principal of Oak Meadows Elementary School to say that entries describing oral sex in the dictionary were too explicit. The books were immediately pulled off the shelves and "temporarily housed off location" until a committee could determine their suitability for children.
December 12, 2013 | Meghan Daum
Taking photos of ourselves is the signature act of our times. We know this not because the president snapped one with world leaders at Nelson Mandela's memorial service Tuesday, but because "selfie" is the Oxford English Dictionary's Word of the Year. And as you may read more than once in the weeks since the Nov. 19 announcement, this is a sign of the apocalypse. Just about every blogger, columnist and style reporter has deemed selfie-mania a pernicious outgrowth of the era's unparalleled narcissism.
June 16, 1993
I read with great interest the article written by Janny Scott about marketing of dictionaries ("Publicity Wars Rage Unabridged," May 25). The use of unorthodox methods of marketing of dictionaries, however, is not a recent development. There is a tract of real estate in rural San Diego County called Dictionary Hill. At the turn of the century, some enterprising dictionary vendors spurred interest in their products by giving away a parcel of land in this tract with every dictionary sold.
November 19, 2013 | By Andrea Chang
"GIF" was so last year. Oxford Dictionaries has released its 2013 word of the year, and, like last year, it has gone with a tech-savvy term: "selfie. " The formal definition of the word, for those of you not familiar with social media and/or narcissism, is a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically using a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website. For an example of a selfie, check out Kim Kardashian's swimsuit version . In a blog post announcing the decision, Oxford Dictionaries called "selfie" the "runaway winner.
October 26, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
If lexicographers at the new World Oxford Dictionary of English have their way, everyone will be a deipnosophist--someone skilled in after-dinner chat--once armed with their latest dictionary. The Dictionary of Weird and Wonderful Words came about as a form of light relief for word compilers of weightier tomes. "We know people love unusual words, and so do we. It was an enjoyable sidebar to the core of our job.
January 2, 1989 | OWEN McNALLY, The Hartford Courant
Weighing in at almost 10 pounds, "The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz" is the undisputed, world heavyweight champion of jazz scholarship, a highly readable, scrupulously researched two-volume, 1,400-page compendium packed with everything you always wanted to know about jazz but were afraid to ask. About as hefty is the price: $295. "We haven't aimed the dictionary just at the jazz insider.
February 25, 2000 | JOHNATHON E. BRIGGS
The fifth-graders barely had time to take in the colorful, glossy cover of the new dictionaries before their teacher, Brian Matthews, made them look up last night's vocabulary word: whimpering. It was an assignment Matthews was happy to give Thursday as volunteers from the Assistance League of San Fernando Valley distributed more than 400 children's dictionaries at Montague Charter Academy.
August 21, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
"Muppet" and "Eeyorish" are among 3,000 new words and expressions, many of them slang or foreign, that have entered English usage and are included in the new edition of the Oxford Dictionary of English. "Muppet," taken from "Sesame Street," is defined as a foolish person, while "Eeyorish," from "Winnie the Pooh," describes a gloomy outlook.
April 6, 1990 | From a Times Staff Writer
The jurors in the John M. Poindexter trial knotted the courtroom in a legal quandary Thursday when they sent a note to the judge with a simple plea: "We need a dictionary. Please." The reply was not simple. U.S. District Judge Harold H. Greene called lawyers for the prosecution and defense in the Iran-Contra case to the courtroom for advice. "I'm not playing hide the ball," defense attorney Richard W.
December 20, 1993 | ELIZABETH MEHREN
Kids! They say the darnedest things. Like barney , the description not of a large purple dinosaur, but of a "very nice looking guy." (Sample sentence: "That guy has such a good body--what a barney!") Of course in another context, barney also translates to a "stupid or inadequate male, a loser." ("That guy is a real barney.") Then again, there's barney the verb, meaning "to mess up." ("I barneyed on my math midterm yesterday.") Or barney , the beginning surfer.
August 28, 2013 | By August Brown
If you were scandalized by Miley Cyrus' performance Sunday at the VMAs, get ready to have your shock codified in the English language. Oxford Dictionaries Online has formally announced that it's adding "twerking" as the newest verb to its ledger, as part of its quarterly update to its online resources. The formal definition? "Twerk, v.: dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance. " MTV VMAs 2013: Show Highlights | Best & Worst It joins other pop-culture effluvia like "selfie," "derp," "digital diet" and "Bitcoin" as new additions to the palette of modern language in the online edition.
August 28, 2013 | By Elisabeth Donnelly
Thanks to Miley Cyrus, the word "twerk" has been everywhere this week. And now it's going in the dictionary. Cyrus' gyrations during her performance at Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards caused a stir and put the word "twerk" on everyone's lips - and in the Oxford Dictionaries Online . Dictionary officials call them "buzzworthy words added to Oxford Dictionaries Online" - "twerk" joins "bitcoin," "selfie," and "girl crush. " They'll all now found in the Oxford Dictionaries Online, which is tasked with staying up to date with modern words.
August 28, 2013 | By Chris O'Brien
The latest sign that the apocalypse is nigh arrived Wednesday when the eggheads behind Britain's Oxford Dictionaries announced plans to add four words that are hard to say without gagging a little.  But, for the sake of illuminating our readers, we shall do our best to share them here. For, lo, their ascension into the mainstream reveals so much about the decline and fall of pop culture. Brace yourself.  PHOTOS: Biggest tech flops of 2013 -- so far Selfie : This refers to the smartphone self-portraits that people take.
August 14, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Helping a kid pack for college is like going on a scavenger hunt. For the last few days, my wife and I have been working with our son to clear out old clothes, old books, old souvenirs, to decide what he'll keep and what he'll discard as he heads east at the end of the week. We've found photos, notebooks, lost school projects, all of them touched, in some sense, with the weight of memory. This is what we have left of him as a young boy, as a kindergartner and a middle-schooler. Just last night, I spent half an hour or so paging through an eighth-grade project on Thomas Paine and a second-grade “Book of Sayings”: “You can lead a horse to water,” my son warns us, “but don't push him in.” Perhaps the week's most unexpected discovery was a 1975 Webster's Collegiate Dictionary , bound in leather and monogrammed in gold with my initials, which my mother gave me when I left home for school.
June 17, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
In the latest sign that social media is changing the way we speak and behave, the Oxford English Dictionary announced the inclusion of the definition of the word "tweet" in its latest update. John Simpson, the dictionary's chief editor, said "tweet" was added despite not having yet been used for 10 years, which is one rule the dictionary considers before adding a new word. But as Simpson says, the word "seems to be catching on. " The Oxford English Dictionary officially defines "tweet" as "a posting made on the social networking service Twitter" and as a verb, it is defined as "to post on Twitter.
May 15, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
Here ye, all you secret lovers of 19th century pornography. The august and decidedly non-pornographic Oxford English Dictionary needs your assistance. As the Guardian reports , the search began when one of the OED's teams of researchers began working on the dictionary's entry for “revirginize.” It's a verb whose earliest reference is in a very hard-to-find, quite possibly underground work of erotica published in 1852. Said book, titled “The Meanderings of Memory,” was written by an author who went by the handle of “Nightlark.” In all, some 51 OED definitions contain quotations from “The Meanderings of Memory,” including the noun “couchward,” (I have no idea what that means)
November 8, 1995 | DAVID E. BRADY
Standing in front of nearly 1,000 Canoga Park students assembled in his honor Tuesday, Bob French admitted he felt a bit like Santa Claus. It wasn't hard to see why. The burly member of Canoga Park's Elks Lodge came to Limerick Avenue Elementary School to donate a set of brand-new dictionaries to the school and said he's letting his beard grow to portray St. Nick next month.
Delivering the final word in a monthlong trial, a federal court jury Tuesday awarded Merriam-Webster Co. nearly $2.3 million after finding that Random House had damaged Merriam by issuing a volume confusingly similar to Merriam's "Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary."
March 23, 2013 | By Lee Romney, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - At 855 pages, it has been lauded by linguists and anthropologists as the only dictionary of its kind: a comprehensive translation of Iu-Mien into English that doubles as a guide to the dying practices of a people who, beginning in 1975, fled the hills of Laos after aiding the CIA's secret war. Over the quarter-century it took to produce, much came to pass. For the Pasadena professor whose name graces the book's charcoal cover, there was the murder of a daughter, a house fire that consumed his nearly finished work and the gentle assistance of collaborators on three continents who helped him pick up the pieces.
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