YOLO in the Dictionary? Collins Crowdsources Lexicon
July 17, 2012 by Emily Price
Collins, a leading British dictionary publisher since 1819, is looking to the public to suggest new words for its latest edition. The typically closed submission process for new words will be opened up to anyone who speaks the English language for the next version of the dictionary. “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,” Alex Brown, Head of Digital at Collins said in a statement. “Most dictionaries are static. By allowing the public to truly participate, we’re ensuring that we stay on top of the evolving English language.” Anyone can submit words they think should be included via the Collins website. Collins will post all of the suggestions on its site for feedback, and select some of the most popular for inclusion based on a number of criteria including frequency of use, number of sources and staying power. Collins will ultimately decide which words are included based in part on its 4.5 billion-word database of language called the Collins Corpus. The Corpus takes words from a wide range of spoken and written English sources -– such as newspapers, radio, and social media -– and determines how important a word may or may not be to society as a whole. Collins has already identified an initial list of new word candidates. It includes: creeping, cray, legbomb, yolo, mantyhose, superphone, sweatworking, Tebowing, tweeps and twitlit.
Collins editors will provide feedback on user submissions typically within two and three weeks of submission. Words that are not initially accepted will continue to be monitored and reviewed over the next year for potential inclusion. “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,” added Brown. Each word will have to prove its own worthiness to be included in the dictionary. Collins says submissions that include information such as word origins, example sentences, and sizable amounts of overall uses will potentially stand a better chance of being noticed by editors. What words do you think should be included in the dictionary? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Collins, a leading British dictionary publisher since 1819, is looking to the public to suggest new words for its latest edition.
The typically closed submission process for new words will be opened up to anyone who speaks the English language for the next version of the dictionary.