Taking action

Have a look at the latest words in the Macmillan Open Dictionary.

This is a crowdsourced dictionary, to which you can submit a new word, a new phrase or idiom, or a new meaning of a word that already exists. The procedure is explained on the Macmillan Open Dictionary submission page.

Cambridge Dictionaries list new words that have been observed recently in written or spoken English. The status of these words is explained in their About Words blog:

“Some of them will undoubtedly be short-lived, some will prove popular and eventually make it into our dictionaries … Therefore we present them here, separately from our main dictionaries, for users’ interest and (hopefully) entertainment.”

Users are invited to vote on whether each word should be added to the Cambridge Dictionary, depending on the extent to which they have come across it, in speech or in writing.

Sometimes people use blog forums to propose made-up words that they want a dictionary to accept. The Cambridge About Words blog gave this advice to a contributor who had invented the word ‘e-dress’ (as a short form of ‘email address’):

“… you would need to get it used regularly in contemporary English before we would consider adding it to the dictionaries. Suggesting it to friends is a start, but to really get it out there you need to start using it on the internet – in social media, forums etc. If you can get it in such a format that it goes viral (such as a humorous cartoon that people will want to share with friends), it is possible for it to catch on very quickly.”

Your task

Share with others your plans to either:

  • Vote for a new word on the Cambridge blog site.

  • Submit a new word to the Macmillan Open Dictionary.

or

  • Make up a new word and persuade others to use it.

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This article is from the free online course:

Understanding English Dictionaries

Coventry University