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  • What's in your dictionary?

    Oct 24, 2014 | 4 Comments

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    It is odd the way people talk about “the dictionary” – by which they mean that abstraction of the lexicon which they somehow access through whatever particular version and edition they happen to have. Sometimes, this leads to totally unreasonable expectations. Read more...


  • Context can make a word taboo

    Oct 17, 2014 | 0 Comments

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    It was said that the principal at a private girls' school had refused to have a sextet as an item on the concert program. Possibly she couldn’t face the thought of the titters that would greet this announcement, and insisted that it had to be a quintet or a septet, but NOT a sextet.

    A musician sharing this piece of information commented that in French the word for sextet is sextuor. Just the smallest typo could make it a spicy item indeed.


  • Should these words go in the Macquarie Dictionary?

    Oct 14, 2014 | 0 Comments

    October 2014

    We've pulled together some more of the interesting words which YOU have recently contributed through our Add a word function. Macquarie is currently researching these words to determine their currency within Australian English and to see if they warrant an entry in our end-of-year update. Read more...


  • Mispronunciations

    Oct 02, 2014 | 2 Comments

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    It is not uncommon to find that there is a word that you have encountered in your reading but never heard said.  We fill the void in our head with a pronunciation that we have made up, based on our understanding of the rules of English spelling and applying our intuitions as to how the word might be said. Read more...


  • Halloween

    Oct 31, 2014 | 0 Comments

    Our guest editor discusses the roots of 'Halloween'

    Halloween draws nigh, the season for ghostly happenings and ghoulish dread. Also for garish toy pumpkins, fake cobwebs and sticky-fingered little people tap-tap-tapping at our chamber doors to raid our supplies of fun-sized treats. Read more...