Sunday, March 18, 2007

We Have a Winner! And We Have a Winner!

It's been an extraordinarily long time since I last posted. Let's just say work has been hell and has sapped me of what energy I would have invested in blogging. I hope things will be improving soon.

Good news: I made a pledge to New Hampshire Public Radio, which earned me entry into a drawing to win some fabulous prizes. Lucky me! I was the grand prize winner. The prize: A vacation to Moab, Utah (airfare and fancy lodging included). We were just in Utah last year. From what we saw, it's a stunningly beautiful place. We didn't go to Moab, though, so this will be a different experience. We're looking forward to it. We'll probably go a bit later in the year, so it's not quite so warm during the days.

On the Dictionary Project front, we have a clear winner now. The New Oxford American Dictionary (which I had previously reported having high hopes for) managed to include all 26 of the non-bonus words. From what I've seen, it's a spectacular piece of work--definitely the next dictionary I want to own. I still haven't come across kayfabe in any dictionary. I guess we'll give it a few more years.

So here's the updated table:

dictionary comparison table, aardwolf, aitch, anhedonia, Baha'i, bumf, capybara, cavy, curmudgeon, em, epistemology, Fuji, full nelson, Gadzooks, goombah, habanero, Jainism, Kilimanjaro, nappy, ninja, ninjutsu, Orinoco, pariah, schadenfreude, Scientology, Sufism, zorilla, kayfabe

1. Webster's New World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. Copyright 2003
2. Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright 1993
3. The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Copyright 1993
4. The Random House College Dictionary, Revised Edition. Copyright 1988
5. The Oxford American Dictionary. Copyright 1980
6. The New American Webster Handy College Dictionary, 4th Edition. Copyright 2006
7. The American Heritage Dictionary, 4th Edition. Copyright 2001
8. The American Century Dictionary. Copyright 1995
9. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition. Copyright 2006
10. The American Heritage College Dictionary, Third Edition. Copyright 1997
11. The New Oxford American Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright 2005
12. Webster's New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition. Copyright 2006

In related news, I've come across two additional flaws in the terrible car dictionary within the last week or two.

The first of these is forgivable: The omission of the word fenland. I came across this word in my reading, as we were riding around, and didn't know what it meant. So I consulted the dictionary and came up blank. As it turns out, it's actually absent from more of the better dictionaries than I would have expected.

The second newly discovered flaw is just astonishing and should be an embarrassment to the lexicographers at Webster's. The only definition listed for tenement is as follows:

a building divided into tenements; now specif., one that is rundown, overcrowded, etc.: in full tenement house

That's a circular definition! Shame, shame!

In slightly related news (I report this because I find it to be quite amusing)... I took an online IQ test yesterday, which I sometimes like to do because I think it's a fun pastime. The Analysis report that was provided offered the following two sentences in the "Strengths and weaknesses" section:

Your highest score was in Verbal

Your lowest score was in Verbal

I'm not making this up!