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

Unscramble the Blue Letters

With that, let's turn to dictionaries. I'm going to do this as a show of hands: How many of you still regularly refer to a dictionary, either print or online? Okay, so that looks like most of you. Now, a second question. Again, a show of hands: How many of you have ever looked to see who edited the dictionary you are using? Okay, many fewer. At some lveel, we know that there are hmuan hands behind dictionaries, but we're really not sure who those hndas belong to. I'm actually fascinated by this. Even the most critical people out there tend not to be very critical about dictionaries, not distinguishing among them and not asking a whole lot of questions about who edteid them. Just think about the phrase "Look it up in the dictionary," which suggests that all dictionaries are exactly the same. Consider the library here on campus, where you go into the reading room, and there is a large, unabridged dictionary up on a ptdeeasl in this place of hoonr and respect liyng open so we can go stand before it to get answers.

Open Cloze

With that, let's turn to dictionaries. I'm going to do this as a show of hands: How many of you still regularly refer to a dictionary, either print or online? Okay, so that looks like most of you. Now, a second question. Again, a show of hands: How many of you have ever looked to see who edited the dictionary you are using? Okay, many fewer. At some _____, we know that there are _____ hands behind dictionaries, but we're really not sure who those _____ belong to. I'm actually fascinated by this. Even the most critical people out there tend not to be very critical about dictionaries, not distinguishing among them and not asking a whole lot of questions about who ______ them. Just think about the phrase "Look it up in the dictionary," which suggests that all dictionaries are exactly the same. Consider the library here on campus, where you go into the reading room, and there is a large, unabridged dictionary up on a ________ in this place of _____ and respect _____ open so we can go stand before it to get answers.

Solution

  1. lying
  2. human
  3. honor
  4. edited
  5. hands
  6. level
  7. pedestal

Original Text

With that, let's turn to dictionaries. I'm going to do this as a show of hands: How many of you still regularly refer to a dictionary, either print or online? Okay, so that looks like most of you. Now, a second question. Again, a show of hands: How many of you have ever looked to see who edited the dictionary you are using? Okay, many fewer. At some level, we know that there are human hands behind dictionaries, but we're really not sure who those hands belong to. I'm actually fascinated by this. Even the most critical people out there tend not to be very critical about dictionaries, not distinguishing among them and not asking a whole lot of questions about who edited them. Just think about the phrase "Look it up in the dictionary," which suggests that all dictionaries are exactly the same. Consider the library here on campus, where you go into the reading room, and there is a large, unabridged dictionary up on a pedestal in this place of honor and respect lying open so we can go stand before it to get answers.

ngrams of length 2

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

Important Words

  1. answers
  2. belong
  3. campus
  4. critical
  5. dictionaries
  6. dictionary
  7. distinguishing
  8. edited
  9. fascinated
  10. hands
  11. honor
  12. human
  13. large
  14. level
  15. library
  16. looked
  17. lot
  18. lying
  19. online
  20. open
  21. pedestal
  22. people
  23. phrase
  24. place
  25. print
  26. question
  27. questions
  28. reading
  29. refer
  30. regularly
  31. respect
  32. room
  33. show
  34. stand
  35. suggests
  36. tend
  37. turn
  38. unabridged