(Some) people ask, “How can I get a word into the dictionary?”
A six-year-old Canadian boy from British Columbia is being credited with creating one. He was out with his mother in the car, when she stopped at a STOP sign. Not only did he read the word, but he did what I often do. He read it backwards, and got the word ‘pots.’ Precocious little prick – reminds me very much of a young Archon.
He asked his mother what the word was for a word that formed another word when read backwards. She didn’t know, so she said they’d ask his Dad when he got home. He didn’t know, so he asked a friend of his who was a teacher. He didn’t know, so he asked the school’s English teacher. She didn’t know, so she contacted a friend who worked for an on-line dictionary.
At each level, the interest became more intense. After some research, it was realized that there wasn’t such a word. It couldn’t be ‘anagram’, which describes words formed by scrambling the letters – getting ‘tars’, or ‘tsar’ from ‘star,’ instead of ‘rats.’ I can get six words from his four-letter sign – stop, spot, pots, post, tops, and opts.
It couldn’t be ‘palindrome’ which describes a word, phrase, or entire sentence which reads the same way, backwards or forwards, like – Able was I ere I saw Elba, or A man, a plan, a canal, Panama.
During the golden days of radio, I listened to a station which ran a contest. They wanted a word, and gave out audio clues. The first was the gentle sound of a babbling brook, and a man’s voice saying, “I’m going to paddle down this.” After a couple of days, they added the sound of a tolling bell, and the man exclaiming, “Time for lunch!” A couple of days later with no winners, they added a male voice saying, “That’s your plane coming in, right there on the screen.”
Finally, someone guessed ‘palindrome’, the first time I’d heard it. The voice was going to paddle a ‘kayak’, have lunch at ‘noon’, and watch his plane on ‘radar.’
This little boy is credited with creating the word ‘levidrome.’ I don’t know how precocious he is, but even Young Sheldon, spun off from Big Bang Theory, would have trouble building a compound word from pieces of Latin, a foreign, and dead, language. I suspect that he had a little bit of help.
‘Levi’ in Latin means left, and ‘drome’ is a course or path, so it indicates a word which is read towards the left. It doesn’t hurt that Levi is also the boy’s Jewish first name.
Canadian actor, William Shatner, (whose German surname means, “chewer of scenery,” in English) contacted Oxford Dictionary after the family had been in touch with Merriam Webster, which told them that a word has to be commonly used before it can be added to its dictionary.
Now, an editor at Oxford has responded with a video, saying many clever and useful words are created every year, but a word can only make it into its dictionary if lots of people use it over a long time. The editor says that plenty of people are uttering ‘levidrome’ early into Levi’s campaign, which is impressive, and staff will decide in about a year whether its use is widespread enough to get the word into the dictionary. Their search engine might even sieve this post. C’mon people, let’s all use it.
I’ve got a word for the precious little pr…ecocious, and it ain’t ‘Triviana!’ Stop by again soon, when I’ll have a bunch more words that are already in the dictionary. 😉