Kory Stamper lays down the law

The Baltimore Sun

At harm-less drudg-ery, the nonpareil Kory Stamper of Merriam-Webster reflects on what wany people want of a dictionary: Authority, Morality, Law-giving, Bet-settling. She contrasts that with what dictionaries humbly offer instead: words and how people use them. 

Here's a key sentence:

We enter the words “murder” and “headcheese” into the dictionary, but that shouldn’t be read as advocacy for trying either one of them. 

I commend the entire essay to you. It is an hoot. 


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