Update: The deadline has passed! Our OED contest is officially closed.
Update #2: What's taking so long? When will you pick a winner? Oy. Unfortunately, our first "winner" did not respond to four separate notifications. According to the official contest rules (see rule #3), therefore, we must pick another winner. We'll notify that contestant today (January 23rd) and post the winning entry as soon as we get a response. Check your email!
With nearly 2.5 million quotations, more than a half-million illustrated words, and 22,000 pages of definitions — from writers as disparate as Charles Darwin and John le Carre — The Oxford English Dictionary is a work like no other. The Washington Post once observed, "No one who reads or writes seriously can be without the OED." (Alas, I've been found out. A serious writer I am not.)
But now we want to hear from you.
What's your favorite word? And why? What, in your opinion, is the strangest, or most useful, or ridiculously specific word in all of the English language?
Don't be shy — tell us the word you can't stop obsessing over, the one you make sure to use at least once in every party conversation, the word that gets stuck in your head like the song lyric you can't quite place but can't stop humming.
Share your word with the world by adding a comment to this post — and you'll be entered to win a FREE OED, shipped straight to your door!
Through January 5, the 20-volume set is on sale at Powell's at its lowest price ever, $895. But "free" sounds even better, yes?
Submit your word and supporting argument by January 5, 2009. We'll choose the entry we like the best in the days that follow.
(For official contest rules, click here.)
Please note: you must include the why with the word. It doesn't have to be long, we don't need an essay, just a brief explanation as to why this word is your choice.
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Books mentioned in this post
Dave is the author of Out of the Book, Volume 3: State by State