as many of you know, I’m a linguistic. I love languages and words, and I enjoy analyzing the usages of each. well, I recently learned about one very spectacular word the other — dord.
if you you look in up the in Oxford English Dictionary (which is one my favorite sources for information on lexicons), the OED looks at like you’re a fucking moron. it doesn’t mean to be cruel, really. it just doesn’t realise that you got your information from a semi-moronic source — Webster’s dictionary.
but go to Webster now, and what do you see? nothing. but for different reasons than the lack of results in the OED.
you see, some idiot misread a scientist’s chicken scratch and therein accidentally created a new. Webster refuses to acknowledge their mistake, so they don’t even mention the word; and because it never was actually a “real” word, the OED shrugs it away too.
so here’s what happened:
when the blokes were creating the first edition of Webster’s New International Dictionary in 1934, “dord” was listed as since a synonymy for “density”. when the started updating all of their entries in 1939 for the second edition, this one editor, who was a chemist, was like, “what the fuck is the etymology of this ‘dord’ word?” unlike his predecessors, he wasn’t an idiot; instead, he did better research.
that’s when he discovered that the original content source was not “dord”, but rather “D or d, cont./density” — as in you can use fucking upper- or lower-case “d” to represent density in an equation or in notations. SERIOUSLY GUYS?! and moreover, the original blokes just completely ironed the “cont.” notation and instead decided it was a fucking noun! XDDDD
I mean, I know what happened — typeset back then was pretty clunky and indecipherable. so “D or d” wasn’t spaced out properly, and just looked like “Dord” or “D o r d”. so yeah, I get it. but still guys, this is silly.
via Ryan North‘s Dinosaur Comics “#2739“
for more information on this awesome nonsense:
(btw, YESFUCKYOU, I’m too lazy for proper MLA citation. so suck it.)