full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Erin McKean: The joy of lexicography

Unscramble the Blue Letters

So, if you have a ham butt problem, and you're thinking about the ham butt problem, the conclusion that it leads you to is inexorable and counterintuitive: paper is the enemy of words. How can this be? I mean, I love books. I really love books. Some of my best friends are books. But the book is not the best shape for the dictionary. Now they're going to think "Oh, boy. People are going to take away my beautiful, paper dictionaries?" No. There will still be paper dictionaries. When we had cars — when cars became the dnoinmat mode of transportation, we didn't round up all the horses and sooht them. You know, there're still going to be paper dictionaries, but it's not going to be the dominant daictnoriy. The book-shaped dictionary is not going to be the only saphe dictionaries come in. And it's not going to be the prottoype for the shapes dictroaineis come in.

Open Cloze

So, if you have a ham butt problem, and you're thinking about the ham butt problem, the conclusion that it leads you to is inexorable and counterintuitive: paper is the enemy of words. How can this be? I mean, I love books. I really love books. Some of my best friends are books. But the book is not the best shape for the dictionary. Now they're going to think "Oh, boy. People are going to take away my beautiful, paper dictionaries?" No. There will still be paper dictionaries. When we had cars — when cars became the ________ mode of transportation, we didn't round up all the horses and _____ them. You know, there're still going to be paper dictionaries, but it's not going to be the dominant __________. The book-shaped dictionary is not going to be the only _____ dictionaries come in. And it's not going to be the _________ for the shapes ____________ come in.

Solution

  1. shape
  2. prototype
  3. shoot
  4. dictionaries
  5. dictionary
  6. dominant

Original Text

So, if you have a ham butt problem, and you're thinking about the ham butt problem, the conclusion that it leads you to is inexorable and counterintuitive: paper is the enemy of words. How can this be? I mean, I love books. I really love books. Some of my best friends are books. But the book is not the best shape for the dictionary. Now they're going to think "Oh, boy. People are going to take away my beautiful, paper dictionaries?" No. There will still be paper dictionaries. When we had cars — when cars became the dominant mode of transportation, we didn't round up all the horses and shoot them. You know, there're still going to be paper dictionaries, but it's not going to be the dominant dictionary. The book-shaped dictionary is not going to be the only shape dictionaries come in. And it's not going to be the prototype for the shapes dictionaries come in.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
ham butt 5
traffic cop 4
online dictionaries 4
bad words 3
rocket science 3
compiling dictionaries 2
good words 2
oxford english 2
english dictionary 2
love computers 2
victorian design 2
english language 2
love books 2
aesthetic judgments 2
artificial distinction 2
numbered definitions 2
american english 2
missing california 2
mike oates 2

ngrams of length 3

collocation frequency
oxford english dictionary 2

Important Words

  1. beautiful
  2. book
  3. books
  4. boy
  5. butt
  6. cars
  7. conclusion
  8. dictionaries
  9. dictionary
  10. dominant
  11. enemy
  12. friends
  13. ham
  14. horses
  15. inexorable
  16. leads
  17. love
  18. mode
  19. paper
  20. people
  21. problem
  22. prototype
  23. shape
  24. shapes
  25. shoot
  26. thinking
  27. transportation
  28. words