Dictionary Evangelist is one of the blogs written by the multitalented Erin McKean, editor-in-chief of U.S. dictionaries for Oxford University Press. (McKean is also the editor of Verbatim: The Language Quarterly and of the blog A Dress a Day, in which she indulges a non-lexicographical enthusiasm. And she's the source of McKean's Law: “Any correction of the speech or writing of others will contain at least one grammatical, spelling, or typographical error.”)
I discovered Dictionary Evangelist only recently, thanks to a link from Jason Kottke, who pointed me to this list of neologisms coined at last week's GEL 2007 conference (an event that had completely escaped my attention--why am I not receiving these memos??). McKean led 60 participants through a three-hour "word-lovers' boot camp" with admirable results, including:
Crappyjack: any kind of empty, snacky junk food (voted "favorite new word" by participants)
Heeb-hop: Jewish hip-hop.
Mispronoonce: a jocular way of saying "mispronounce," to be used in the first person after a particularly embarrassing mispronunciation: Oh, gosh, I mispronoonced that, didn't I?'
Spensitize: To make aware of financial consequences.
Not bad for amateurs!
By the way, I love the adverb McKean coined to describe the way in which words are created through mashup: "Frankensteinianly."
If you'd like to try word-cobbling yourself, check out the Word Fugitives contest in the May issue of The Atlantic. This month's challenges:
1. A word for "that guy (or girl) who, once he starts dating someone new, abandons all his friends."
2. "A word for that happy feeling of kinship one feels for the driver of a car of the same make and model as one’s own."
And in other calendar-related news, I'm taking the next few days off and will be posting ... well, probably not at all. Meanwhile, there are 355 posts in the archives here. Have fun!