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Old 12-01-2012, 07:05 PM   #1
sr71plt
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Pleasant dictionary surprises

I was flabbergasted (but relieved) to find the word "motherfucker" in Webster's this evening while editing a mainstream novel. It had been rendered as two words, and it's the type of combination that can go in three different directions without rhyme or reason (separate/combined/hyphenated). Just to be able to say it wasn't in the dictionary so I'd have to decide myself, I looked it up--and there it is.

The origin of "motherfucker" is dated to 1935. I find that rather interesting too.

I wonder if they still have anal retentive maiden aunts putting together the dictionary. If so, they are getting quite a thrill these days. Better than spell check--it still is declaring that "cunt" isn't a word and this is even after I tried to get to put it in the computer dictionary.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:07 PM   #2
sr71plt
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Not especially pleasant or unpleasant, but this might be a good place to note a common capitalization mistake writers make and to explain why it is so (with the explanation possibly helping folks to remember what is correct).

"T-shirt" is rendered this way, not as "t-shirt." It's a special, visual word. It's capitalized, because the origin is that the capital "T" shows you why it's named a T-shirt. The "T" is in the shape of the shirt.
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