Write the Docs: Sarah Grant – Evolution of the English Language from Text to Texting

I’m at Write the Docs today in Portland and will be post­ing notes from ses­sions through­out the day. These are all posted right after a talk fin­ishes so they’re rough around the edges.

Sarah has mostly been a fiction writer and works for GeekGirlCon. The subtitle to this talk was, “Why the Oxford English Dictionary is My Favorite Book, and Why I Love the Chicago Manual of Style.”

The Oxford English Dictionary was expected to take 10 years. It didn’t quite work out that way. 5 years in they had gotten to the word, “ant.” The OED ended up listing over 50 million years.

NetLingo is a neat site for tracking the usage and meaning of newer, more text and web-native words. These can range from the mundane to the seriously confusing.

Some words, such as orientated, which we think to not be proper English are, in fact, listed in versions of the OED. English has been, and still is, a very fluid language. There is, essentially, no such thing as an unchanging rule.