Dictionary compilers are a fairly private, dry and prosaic bunch and I for one barely think about them from one week’s end to another, but this week they have been dragged blinking into the sunlight, and a good thing too. Those responsible for the Collins pocket dictionary have decided to drop a list of words, including aerodrome, on the entirely flimsy pretext that they are not used much any more in the written word. There are only two responses for the rational person to this outrageous suggestion, viz:-

1. To suggest that the compilers use an arbitrary set of aesthetic rules, closely aligned to my own taste, to eliminate redundant and ugly words which are used a lot thus leaving space for lovely but underused words such as aerodrome with all its romantic connotations, whilst raising the average beauty of the language by several millihelens* Candidates that suggest themselves for the cull include methodology (method) and entrepreneurship (enterprise).

2. To accept that dictionary compilers will continue to use their barbaric “How much is it used in current text ?” measure and to kick over the traces by using the word, however incongruously, as much as possible. Hence this post.

I suspect that despite the obvious superiority of the first suggestion above, the second may actually be more successful so I urge you to use the words aerodrome and charabanc whenever you can slide them unobtrusively into your written work.

*A measure of beauty, being enough beauty to launch one ship.

One thought on “Verbicide”

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