On Writing

On Writing: What Makes a Word Real?

As a writer, Anne Curzon’s TED Talk, “What Makes a Word Real,” was fascinating to watch. She discusses the people who work behind the scenes at dictionaries and how a word is determined to be “real” in our society. Think about how many words are added to the English language every day because of technology. For example, Curzon discusses the word “defriend” in her speech and my first impulse was to question the term: “Isn’t it unfriend?” Neither one is a word one would find in a dictionary–yet both are “real” in our society. (One is just a bit more popular.)

What words have you heard recently that might fit this definition of “real”?

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