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My name is Bob Land. I am a full-time freelance editor and proofreader, and occasional indexer. This blog is my website.

You'll find my rate sheet and client list here, as well as musings on the life of a freelancer; editing, proofreading, and indexing concerns and issues; my ongoing battles with books and production; and the occasional personal revelation.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Words I’d Change in the Dictionary

Merriam-Webster's editorial board: Are you listening?

health care: I’ve been uselessly enforcing this one for too long. One word. Let’s get it over with. 

record keeping: No way should this be two words. I could handle record-keeping. Even better: recordkeeping. See also child rearing; decision making; etc.

work site: already in the dictionary: workbag, workbasket, workboat, workbook, workbox, workday, workforce
            but work camp, work farm. OK, so I see the pattern, but I don’t see that it makes sense.

There are others. Many, many more.


Danny boy


moi said...

I can't come up with any right off hand, but I do think the Germans are on to something, the way they string up to four words together to make one.

czar said...

I must admit I agree. And with my new copy-and-paste indexing methodology, I'm liking such languages more and more.

moi said...

Got one! Easygoing, the adjective. ONE WORD.

czar said...

Moi: Get a new dictionary. Merriam-Webster's:


Main Entry:easy£go£ing
Pronunciation:**-z*-*g*-i*, -*g*(-)i*

1 a : relaxed and casual in style or manner *an easygoing boss* b : morally lax
2 : UNHURRIED, COMFORTABLE *an easygoing pace*
–easy£go£ing£ness noun


An editor friend has a shelf of dictionaries from both sides of the Atlantic and figures that, considering all of them, he can justify just about any spelling he damn well pleases.

What dictionaries do your mags use?

chickory said...

happy easter to the Czar

czar said...

And same to you, Chickory. I'm guessing this is not the year you and Moi will be hitting the AT. The offer still stands.

moi said...

Yes, I did mean easygoing should be one word. I see it all the time as two. I use Merriam Websters Collegiate, 11th. I don't have any other dictionary, because I don't like to confuse things. All editors are allowed their peccadilloes, but this isn't one of them.

czar said...

Moi: Right. Your dictionary has it right, but folks get it wrong. I'm thinking, what don't I like in the dictionary?

I did see "lightening" a few more times this week, though. That's the one that drives me around the bend.