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Crowdsourcing the English Language
© Image: Flickr.com / greeblie
editorial

Crowdsourcing the English Language

Two weeks ago, on the premiere episode of our new podcast series The Crowded Room, we told you about a crowdsourced language initiative undertaken by the Collins Dictionary. 

Earlier this week, Collins announced the first batch of user-submitted words that its editors are putting onto the website. Among the 86 newly-added words is a familiar one to our readers: "crowdfunding," defined as "the funding of a project by a large number of supporters who each contribute a small amount."

Back in July, Collins decided to open up its dictionary to the public to keep up with the "evolving English language." Two months and over 4,400 words later, the first set was added to CollinsDictionary.com. 

Before entering the dictionary, words are screened by Collins editors. They look at the word’s popularity, as well as its potential longevity and reach. The campaign is ongoing, so if you have a word you wish to contribute to Collins, you can still do so by entering it here. The site gives credit to the submitters for all definitions.

Many of the words are related to new media – "Facebook," "livestream," "tweetup." Others, like "hangry" ("irritable as a result of feeling hungry") and "totes" ("totally; completely; entirely") seem to be slang terms that had been on the fringes of the English lexicon and are now gaining some recognition. The full list can be found here.

To keep up with the latest crowdsourcing and crowdfunding news, make sure to check out weekly podcast. The second episode is here, and the third one is coming out in the next few days -- stay tuned!

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  • Enrique Estell├ęs Enrique Estell├ęs Sep 14, 2012 11:04 pm GMT

    I only miss the reference to the reciprocity (the reward for the crowd) in the definition. I think that something important.

  • Eric Blattberg Eric Blattberg Sep 16, 2012 12:11 am GMT

    Aw, brolbus didn't make the cut?

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