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Overdramatize the work of lexicographers ?

While the creators of dictionaries could certainly do a better job explaining to the public what it is they do, I have a feeling that news outlets looking to drum up outrage will continue to overdramatize the work of lexicographers. There is a ready-made audience out there for such stories, no doubt because language is something with which we are all deeply engaged. But the language-loving public deserves to know that dictionaries are not made by cloak-and-dagger cabals full of deep, dark secrets. Don't misjudge the harmless drudge.

Ben Zimmer, a former On Language columnist for The New York Times Magazine, is the executive producer of VisualThesaurus.com and Vocabulary.com.


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