Words: Webster, n.

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The Independent Culture
"I'LL NEVER find the words . . ." wrote Johnny Mercer in the exquisite love song "Too Marvelous For Words": ". . . you're much too much, / and just too very very / to ever be in Webster's Dictionary."

Will the new Encarta Dictionary of World English inspire romance? Perhaps, but only on an ELT course. Illustrated and semi- encyclopaedic, it overlooks, say, potzer, nabe and eldricht; and ripping is deemed dated. Instead a picture of Rupert Murdoch keeps looming up - and, bizarrely, Merce Cunningham's is slap-bang in the middle of the obscenity adjacent to him. The pioneer American lexicographer Noah Webster (from the Middle English for weaver) has no entry. Keen to distinguish American words from Johnson's, he created labor, center - and marvelous.