Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Boulevard of Broken Words

It seems that Fiona McPherson, identified by BBC Technology Reporter Zoe Kleinman as "senior editor in the new words group at the OED" in a story she filed yesterday, is today the focus of a piece by Max Davidson at the London Telegraph. Davidson never touches on Kleinman's revelation that texting abbreviations have begun to appear in the OED but focuses, instead, on "a room in Oxford no bigger than a squash court," where Oxford University Press keeps filing cabinets (yes, the physical kind) containing cards, each one for a word that has not (yet?) been admitted to the OED. He thus fleshed out yesterday's post, in which I offered a Kafkaesque vision of how "OMG" would languish in its current state of rejection. At the very least I find it delightfully ironic that this string of three letters, which "lives" almost entirely on cell phone display screens, must now suffer rejection in the form of a physical card in a physical filing cabinet. Whether or not it ever satisfies criteria for admission is likely to be primarily a matter of time; but, if the decision is made that "OMG" is dead, that decision will be made by the Oxford University Press and not by Friedrich Nietzsche!


Anonymous said...

Zoe Kleinman has left a comment about the use of the title Senior Editor at:


I checked the comment ip and the email address used and believe it to be genuine.

Stephen Smoliar said...

I am glad to see that NetNewsPublisher is still acting as a "reprint service" for this site. However, I no longer track that site for comments, since the comment traffic there was so low. I am glad that this clarification now appears on the "source site."