Yesterday was National Dictionary Day.
Eye only no that because of a too-minute segment on yesterday’s ABC World Gnus with Charles Gibson.
Two summarize: the Oxford University Press analyzed a couple billion words and how wee common folk spell them.
Since about half spell “vocal cord” and the other half spell “vocal chord” they decided it was OK either way.
54% said it was “free rein” and 46% said “free reign.”
It was at that point eye blurted out, “what about rain?” I blustered and sputtered, as did my best half.
AwayWithWords said it well:
But teaching, writing, editing, and proofreading are not “that simple.” Those of us who ply those trades can’t afford to be descriptivists. We need guidelines. And if we can’t find them in respected dictionaries, where shall we turn? If we’re editing Warren Buffett, for example, and he writes “vocal chords” in one of his annual reports (as he once did; I wrote him a letter about it), do we let it slide or pick up the blue pencil?
Remember “new math?” Wee are on the verge of spelling buy consensus. As a blogger who isn’t burdened with the knowledge of righting as AwayWithWords is, I really appreciate beaing able two make the point that my spelling is acceptable in the Sixty Reform School Dickshunary.
Sew their ewe have it.