Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

The world’s first crowd-sourced Dictionary

idea.jpg
dictionary-collins.jpg

Dictionary editors hold an awful lot of power over the English language. Every year they decide which words go in (and are kicked out of) the Dictionary, and thus hold a vital role in shaping the words we know and use on a daily basis.

Which is why for every officially recognised word added to the dictionary (cougar and bromance became official words last year) some of the phrases we use, from slang between friends to abbreviations, jargon or made-up buzzwords like “glamping” can often go unnoticed, and in 50 years could be completely forgotten (in the case of the buzzwords, that could be a good thing).

But Dictionary publishers Collins are changing that – by inviting the general public to contribute to their online dictionary, and become involved in the evolution of the English language.

To get involved, users just need to log on to collinsdictionary.com and submit their phrase of choice, which will go through an editorial evaluation and if accepted appear on the definition page, with your name forever imprinted as the creator of that word.

The chance to play Samuel Johnson definitely appeals – and if there’s a word you use with your friends that you think is absolute genius, now’s your chance to let the world know. Collins are also giving away prizes to a person who submits a word every day until the 31st August 2012.

But whilst we think the crowd-sourcing is definitely a good idea, and it’s fascinating (and often quite amusing) to see the words people are submitting and their definitions, the list of phrases Collins have already accepted contains a fair few we hoped would die a death this year. For every actually quite funny and useful addition like photobomb and livestream, there’s an annoying word like Carmageddon or Sweatworking – do we really want these preserved for years to come?

Here are a few examples of the words submitted so far:

  • Legbomb
  • Amazeballs
  • Reem
  • Tash-on
  • Yolo
  • Mantyhose
  • Lollage

A quick poll of the Stylist office on what we would submit actually resulted in a load that we DON’T want added by anyone, (or if they’re already in there, banned for life). They were, in no particular order:

  • Glamwich
  • Staycation
  • Glamping
  • Fashionista
  • Recessionista
  • Kooky
  • Banter
  • Rookie
  • Mumpreneur

So please, if your finger is poised over the keyboard ready to submit, we beg you cease and desist.

What do you think of the crowd-sourced dictionary – is it a good idea? What words will you be submitting, or would you like banned? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook

Picture credit: Rex Features

Related

2011-words.jpg

2011's top words in pictures

hero-1.jpg

30 words we wish were still in use

Marilyn-hero.jpg

Marilyn Monroe in her own words

Comments

More

13 books to read when you’re hating your job

For respite, perspective and escapism

by Scarlett Cayford
24 Feb 2017

The best (and worst) love advice from teen magazines

From dating to dumping, and everything in-between

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Feb 2017

These beautiful libraries are all available to rent on Airbnb

Calling all bookworms...

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Feb 2017

These new words have just been added to the dictionary for 2017

From squad goals to superfruit

by Sarah Biddlecombe
23 Feb 2017

Roxane Gay slams publisher for offering book deal to far-right troll

“Alt-right” internet provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos is not a good guy.

by Moya Crockett
21 Feb 2017

Margaret Atwood has a new warning about The Handmaid’s Tale

“You think you’re a liberal democracy and then – bang – you’re Hitler’s Germany”

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Feb 2017

JK Rowling humiliates Piers Morgan as he falls into her Twitter trap

Talk about fantastic tweets and where to find them…

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Feb 2017

JK Rowling utterly annihilates Piers Morgan for defending Trump

“The downside of sucking up to the biggest bully in school is getting burned alive”

by Kayleigh Dray
13 Feb 2017

The daily writing routine of best-selling author JoJo Moyes

Coffee, people-watching and Scrabble

by Sarah Biddlecombe
10 Feb 2017

Memoirs and marriage: the new books to perk up February

This month's best new releases

by Sarah Shaffi
10 Feb 2017