January 2009 Archives

News Mondegreen

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Was half-listening to NPR news this morning, and thought I heard a reporter say that something was intended to "shore up the Gaza sea-spire."

I thought to myself, "Neat--I don't know why Gaza would have a sea-spire, but it sounds cool, whatever it is."

And then I realized that of course what they were discussing was actually the Gaza cease-fire.

Is it a real word?

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Ta-Nehisi Coates talks with OED editor Jesse Sheidlower about whether "conversate" is a word.

I <3 the OED.

And dictionary editors in general.

Lexicographer Erin McKean gave a talk at TED in 2007 that covered some related topics, though I think I like Sheidlower's discussion of the issue better.

(Note: Video with sound immediately starts playing if you follow the link to the McKean talk.)

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