I’m not the only one critical of the Macquarie Dictionary, it seems. Big fat media empire Fairfax is switching over to using the Australian Oxford Dictionary. Crikey has the story (behind the paywall for the moment). They quote the Fairfax memo: “Style officers from major papers in the group agree that the Oxford has a stronger sense of style than the Macquarie, offers concise, informative definitions and clearly states its preference for word usage, and therefore is better suited for use in a media organisation.”
Final reminder: You have until midnight tonight (Sydney time) to vote in Macquarie Dictionary‘s Word of the Year poll.
I’m disappointed with the choices. The criterion is “the most valuable contribution to the English language in 2007.” All of these words pre-date 2007, and in this category the Macquarie faces its strongest criticism for being slow to add new data.
The truly god-like people at Macquarie Dictionary have opened voting for the Word of the Year 2007 (“the most valuable contribution to the English language”) in various categories. Voting closes at midnight on 31 January.
In the “online” category you can choose from:
cyber cheating noun 1. plagiarism of material sourced on the internet. 2. engagement in an online romance, the conduct of which constitutes unfaithfulness to one’s spouse or lover. flog noun a blog which is contrived for marketing purposes. [f(ake) + (b)log] griefing noun the sabotage of online computer games, virtual sites, etc., by players intent on causing havoc rather than abiding by the rules of the game. â€“griefer, noun microblog noun 1. an internet posting which is extremely short, designed to give a brief but immediate text update. â€“verb (i) (microblogged, microblogging) 2. to issue such an internet posting. â€“microblogging, noun â€“microblogger, noun web 2.0 noun a perceived altered state of the world wide web, equivalent to a second generation of a software product, which features social networks, creative commons, wikis and other such sites that encourage user input and information sharing.
My immediate reaction is that some of the terms are perhaps older than 2007. However Macquarie Dictionary is a mainstream dictionary of Australian English.
- Mainstream means that the words have to be used in mainstream publications and broadcasts such as daily newspapers and TV news bulletins without further explanation. Three independent usages are needed before a word will be listed.
- Australian English means those citations have to be in Australian media (obviously).
So my innate geekery means I’m probably ahead of the pace when it comes to adopting new words.
In any event, I’ll go through their lists and post more considered thoughts before I cast my votes. I’m happy to take side-wagers on the eventual winners.