Is anyone else bothered by "ginormous" being added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary? Last week, the pedantic linguist (or is it "linguistic pedant"?) in me cringed when I heard the news that "ginormous" was among the 100 new words added to the M-W collegiate dictionary.
I mean... are they serious?
Obviously they are and had this to say:
“There will be linguistic conservatives who will turn their nose up at a word like `ginormous,”' said John Morse, Merriam-Webster's president. “But it's become a part of our language. It's used by professional writers in mainstream publications. It clearly has staying power.”
Okay, perhaps I'm a "linguistic conservative" but I think my major issue is that "ginormous" just sounds stupid! The article goes on:
Visitors to the Springfield-based dictionary publisher's Web site picked “ginormous” as their favorite word that's not in the dictionary in 2005, and Merriam-Webster editors have spotted it in countless newspaper and magazine articles since 2000.
That's essentially the criteria for making it into the collegiate dictionary — if a word shows up often enough in mainstream writing, the editors consider defining it.
Intellectually, I understand. Languages are living things that evolve over time. A good dictionary will attempt to keep pace with the times. So I understand it at that level, but still.... ginormous?
But as editor Jim Lowe puts it: “Nobody has to use `ginormous' if they don't want to.”
Yes, you can count me as one of those, too. I have an extremely hard time ever imagining a circumstance in which "ginormous" would leave my lips or be something I wrote.
How about you?