Collins dictionary invites word suggestions


Cordelia O'Neill
Tuesday 17 July 2012 11:11 BST

Anyone will be able to suggest new words for a mainstream dictionary for the first time today.

Publishers Collins said opening the normally closed process would make the way the English language is recorded more democratic.

Anyone who uses English can identify and coin new words, and submit them for potential inclusion on Collins' English dictionary website,

The site was launched last year and is based in Glasgow, where Collins English dictionary print editions and other best-selling reference titles are produced.

If the word is accepted, the submitter will be offered the chance to be permanently credited in the online dictionary below their word's definition.

Collins editors have already submitted a selection of words, including "omnishambles", originally from The Thick Of It and more recently used by Ed Miliband, "superphone", tash-on", a word for kissing, popularised by reality TV show Geordie Shore, and "twitlit".

Alex Brown, head of digital at Collins, said: "We know people are passionate about the preservation and evolution of the English language, and we want to tap into that as new words continue to capture the public imagination.

"For Collins online dictionary, it was essential that we keep our ear close to the ground listening out for new words emerging from pop culture, science and technology.

"Most dictionaries are static. By allowing the public to truly participate, we're ensuring that we stay on top of the evolving English language."

All words submitted will go through the same review process by the Collins dictionary editors.

Criteria for inclusion include frequency of use, number of sources and staying power. Evidence will be based on the publisher's 4.5 billion-word database of language called the Collins Corpus, which takes words from a wide range of spoken and written English sources, including newspapers, radio and social media.

Editors aim to give feedback on a word within two or three weeks of submission, and words that are not initially accepted will continue to be monitored and reviewed over the following year.


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