full transcript
From the Ted Talk "Anne Curzan: What makes a word "real"?"

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Now, don't get me wrong, dictionaries are fantastic resources, but they are human and they are not timeless. I'm struck as a teacher that we tell students to critically question every text they read, every website they visit, except dictionaries, which we tend to treat as un-authored, as if they came from nowhere to give us answers about what words really mean. Here's the thing: If you ask dictionary editors, what they'll tell you is they're just trying to keep up with us as we change the language. They're watching what we say and what we wtrie and trying to igefur out what's going to stick and what's not going to stick. They have to gamble, because they want to appear cutting edge and catch the rdows that are going to make it, such as LOL, but they don't want to appear faddish and include the words that aren't going to make it, and I think a drow that they're watching right now is YOLO, you only evil once.

Open Cloze

Now, don't get me wrong, dictionaries are fantastic resources, but they are human and they are not timeless. I'm struck as a teacher that we tell students to critically question every text they read, every website they visit, except dictionaries, which we tend to treat as un-authored, as if they came from nowhere to give us answers about what words really mean. Here's the thing: If you ask dictionary editors, what they'll tell you is they're just trying to keep up with us as we change the language. They're watching what we say and what we _____ and trying to ______ out what's going to stick and what's not going to stick. They have to gamble, because they want to appear cutting edge and catch the _____ that are going to make it, such as LOL, but they don't want to appear faddish and include the words that aren't going to make it, and I think a ____ that they're watching right now is YOLO, you only ____ once.

Solution

  1. write
  2. live
  3. word
  4. figure
  5. words

Original Text

Now, don't get me wrong, dictionaries are fantastic resources, but they are human and they are not timeless. I'm struck as a teacher that we tell students to critically question every text they read, every website they visit, except dictionaries, which we tend to treat as un-authored, as if they came from nowhere to give us answers about what words really mean. Here's the thing: If you ask dictionary editors, what they'll tell you is they're just trying to keep up with us as we change the language. They're watching what we say and what we write and trying to figure out what's going to stick and what's not going to stick. They have to gamble, because they want to appear cutting edge and catch the words that are going to make it, such as LOL, but they don't want to appear faddish and include the words that aren't going to make it, and I think a word that they're watching right now is YOLO, you only live once.

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
english language 7
dictionary editors 7
usage panel 5
usage notes 3
usage note 3
language change 3
american heritage 3

Important Words

  1. answers
  2. catch
  3. change
  4. critically
  5. cutting
  6. dictionaries
  7. dictionary
  8. edge
  9. editors
  10. faddish
  11. fantastic
  12. figure
  13. gamble
  14. give
  15. human
  16. include
  17. language
  18. live
  19. lol
  20. question
  21. read
  22. resources
  23. stick
  24. struck
  25. students
  26. teacher
  27. tend
  28. text
  29. timeless
  30. treat
  31. visit
  32. watching
  33. website
  34. word
  35. words
  36. write
  37. wrong
  38. yolo