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Collins holds Twitter poll to add words to dictionary

Book

Collins holds Twitter poll to add words to dictionary

The Collins English Dictionary has decided to hold a poll on social networking site Twitter, to offer the public the chance to choose which words should be included in its next edition.

In order for a word to enter the dictionary it must fall into regular use, and although thousands of words appear each year, few of them actually make it into the final edition.

It has been revealed that lexicographers employed by Collins have been utilising the social platform as a tool for their research, and have been for some time, discovering upcoming and emerging words and determining their popularity.

As an experiment, the company is presenting users of Twitter with the chance to cast a vote in a poll that will see one of the shortlisted words recorded in the dictionary. People have up until the end of May to cast their votes by using the hashtag of the word they wish to support.

Twitter newsfeeds are usually full of newly coined words that are not officially recognised by the dictionary, but Collins is the first to attempt to remedy this.

The shortlist contains nine potential new words and includes adorkable, duckface, fracktivist and vaguebooking. The winning word will be published in the 12th edition of the Collins English Dictionary, which is due to be published later on this year.

The company claims that this process is a natural evolution of the way the popularity of a word should be measured, and how the dictionary should be compiled.

Alan Littler

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