Thursday, September 30, 2010

What'd I Say

I'm a big fan of dictionaries. As of right now, there are eight on my shelf: Spanish-English, French-English, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate, The Scholastic Rhyming Dictionary, Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, and three slang dictionaries. Two are American; one is British. The ultimate culmination of all these dictionaries, particularly the slang editions, has to be the online repository we all know and love, Urban Dictionary.

Samuel Johnson does not approve.

Whereas a normal dictionary takes years to compile and format, Urban Dictionary is constantly updated by users, which helps to keep me and other hermetic losers on the cutting edge of language. Every time I come across a new slang term that I haven't heard before or have learned and forgotten, I pull up UD and search. It has only failed me once, but then again, so did, my trusty Merriam-Webster's, and even Dr. Johnson, and I had to consult the local library's unabridged Oxford. (The word, by the way, was homoloidal, which I came across in a piece in Pricksongs and Descants--possibly "A Pedestrian Accident"--by Robert Coover.) For the most part, the entries are helpful and accurate, which is good when it comes time for me to brush up on my mad street language skills.

Also, Urban Dictionary has this definition for my name: "The epitome of style, taste, and class." So that's pretty cool, if somewhat useless.

Image via Wikipedia.



  1. I like your tags. :D

    Also dictionaries are good.

    When Holly and I were roommates, I would sit on the floor with my American Heritage Dictionary and Thesaurus set and we would look up words and speculate about etymology together.

    Because we're nerds.

  2. Why didn't you call me? I totally would have come down and speculated with you.