That assumes you have a particular definition of the characteristics of a A man who is a gentleman in the true sense of the word has all the.
‘Brother’ or ‘Sister’ is more than a title, it is a declaration of partnership in the grace of God. We are not only co-heirs with Christ individually (Romans 8:17), but we mutually enjoy the experience of being fellow heirs with Christ. Or as Paul rejoices in, as he opens his letter to the Philippians, “you are all partakers with me of grace” (Phil 1:7).
The subject of reconciliation runs deeper and wider than the current debate that orbits around racial tensions within the church, or even wider society. That is not to say that it doesn’t relate to racial reconciliation, it does, but it flows ever outward in far more expansive streams than that. In Christ, reconciliation sits at the very heart of why I may meet a fellow Christian on a plane, or sitting in a cafe, and though they are a stranger in every sense of the word, I will leave that brief meeting with a warm heart and genuine joy at meeting a ‘brother’ or ‘sister’ in Christ.
I grew up in a church tradition where it was common to refer to each other as ‘Brother Gordon’, or ‘Sister Margaret’ (if, of course, your name happened to be ‘Gordon’ or ‘Margaret’), and for many years I assumed it was just a quirk of our somewhat odd traditions. But I was wrong.
That assumes you have a particular definition of the characteristics of a A man who is a gentleman in the true sense of the word has all the.
Merriam-Webster defines a lexicographer as “an author or editor of a dictionary.” The job sounds simple enough, but the work that goes into researching and writing definitions like the one above takes a unique combination of skills. Lexicographers have to be passionate about words without being pretentious, knowledgeable without being overeducated, and analytic enough to treat language like a science while being creative enough to define tricky words like art and love.
To learn more about what goes into being a lexicographer, Mental Floss spoke with a few from the world’s top dictionaries. Here’s what they had to say about where they find new words, what goes into the editing process, and how they really feel about defining literally as “figuratively.”
There are a number of different paths you can take to get into lexicography. Most people who write and edit dictionaries come from some sort of humanities background, but there’s usually no specific degree or training required to become a lexicographer. Emily Brewster, a lexicographer for Merriam-Webster since 2000, double-majored in linguistics and philosophy. She tells Mental Floss, “A lot of people have an English background. There are some editors who have linguistic backgrounds. But really, when your job is defining the vocabulary of the English language, expertise in any field can apply. We have science editors, we have people who are specialists in chemistry, specialists in law, so any kind of expertise can make you a better definer.”
According to Jesse Sheidlower, a lexicographer who worked for the Oxford English Dictionary and Random House Dictionaries, an education with a focus on lexicography specifically can actually be a turn-off for employers. “There was a university that once offered a degree in lexicography, but no dictionary house would ever hire someone with a degree in lexicography [...] In general, the people who are going to be teaching it that way are probably not experienced practical lexicographers, and the kind of things you need to do the job are rather different than what academics would study if you were studying lexicography.” Students studying lexicography at Université de Lorraine in France, for example, learn about etymology, polysemy (the existence of multiple meanings for one word), and lexicological analysis. A class can provide helpful background on the subject, but it won't necessarily equip learners with the skills and instincts they need to find and define new words.
Too much education, regardless of the subject, can also hurt someone’s chances of working for a dictionary. “In general you want someone with some but not too much training in some kind of general humanities discipline," Sheidlower says. "Not someone with a Ph.D., because people with Ph.D.s tend to think you can spend the rest of your life studying things, and when you’re actually working for a dictionary you have a list of 50 things you have to get done by the end of the week. The fact that one of them or all of them might be super interesting doesn’t mean you can spend three weeks studying the same thing.”
The role of dictionaries is largely misunderstood by the public. Lexicographers don’t decide which words are valid and dictate how they should be used. Rather, they find the words that already exist and do their best to represent how they’re being used in the real world. “This is something non-lexicographers in particular have problems with,” Sheidlower says. “But the role of a dictionary is not to say what is correct in any sort of sense handed down from above. It is to say what is in use in language, and if people are using something different from how it’s used traditionally, that thing is going to go in regardless of whether or not you like it.”
Even if lexicographers don’t think of themselves as linguistic gatekeepers, many people see still them that way. That can cause controversy when a word or definition makes it into the dictionary that people don’t approve of. One recent example is the inclusion of the word they in Merriam-Webster as a non-binary pronoun. “That’s been getting a tremendous amount of attention,” Sheidlower says. But as he explains, the dictionary didn’t make up the usage—it simply acknowledged its existence. “Singular they goes back to the 14th century—even nonbinary they goes back to the 18th century. ... New isn’t necessarily bad, but those things aren’t new.”
Words that fall outside sensitive social and political arenas can also stir outrage. A classic example is defining literally to mean "figuratively." “People hate that, they hate it so much,” Brewster says. “But it’s old, it’s established, and if we didn’t enter it, we’d be saying the word is not used this way, and the word is used this way and it’s been used this way since Charles Dickens. It’s not really our place to make a judgement if a word or a use is a good word. Our job is to report words that are established in the language.”
Language is constantly evolving, which means that a lexicographer’s job never ends. Brewster estimates that roughly 1000 words are added to Merriam-Webster.com each year, including new senses of existing words. The most recent batch consisted of 533 new terms and uses, ranging from highly specific words like non-rhotic (the Bostonian habit of not pronouncing the letter r unless it’s followed by a vowel) to Instagram-friendly slang like vacay.
More new words enter the lexicon each year than can fit between the covers of even the most comprehensive dictionary. To give readers an up-to-date picture of the English language without overworking themselves, lexicographers have to be selective about which words make the cut. As Brewster explains, every word that goes into the Merriam-Webster dictionary meets certain criteria. “We have to have significant evidence of a word in use over an extended period of time,” she says.
Those standards are a little vague for a reason. Taking the popularity and staying power of a new word into consideration, editors get to decide what counts as “significant evidence” and an “extended period of time” for themselves.
Brewster elaborates, “For example, the verb tweet as in the Twitter sense erupted very suddenly in the language. So that was a case in which very quickly it became clear that our readers were going to be served by having this term be defined. You can contrast that with a term like adorkable, it requires a longer amount of time before it meets that criteria of being in the language for an extended period of time because we don’t want to enter words that nobody’s going to be using in five years.”
Lexicography is methodical and scientific work most of the time, but it can get subjective. If you’ve ever had trouble defining a term without using a related word, chances are whoever wrote its entry in the dictionary encountered the same problem. “A term like art or poetry or love, these are notoriously hard to define because their meanings are extremely broad. You can’t pin it down,” Sheidlower says. “The word itch is very hard to define. Trying to define the word itch without using the word scratch is very difficult. I’ll let you think about that one for a moment.” (In case you were wondering, Merriam-Webster defines itch as “an uneasy irritating sensation in the upper surface of the skin usually held to result from mild stimulation of pain receptors.” Pretty spot-on.)
If you’re looking to have spirited debates over the value of certain words with your fellow language enthusiasts, lexicography may not be the career for you. Most of the work is done in silence in front of a computer, and conflicts that get more passionate than a politely worded email are rare. “People think we sit around a table and argue about the merits of a word. Or say, ‘Yeah, this word should get in!’ Or ‘Yeah, this word should never get in,’” Brewster says. ”It’s actually very quiet, solitary work. You can make a case for a word, but it’s all in writing. So when I draft a definition for a word, I will say that we have evidence of it dating back as far back as this date, and it’s appeared in all these different types of publications. We’re not very emotional about these things. I think we’re much more biologists than pundits.”
Putting together a dictionary is collaborative work. According to Brewster, a single word entry must go through several editors before it’s ready for publication. As a definer—what most people think of when they think of a lexicographer—she sets the process in motion. “Being a general definer, my job is to define all the non-technical vocabulary in the language. But that varies really broadly, from economics terms, like a definition for dark money, to pronouns, to prepositions, and also informal terms, like say twerking.”
After she drafts a definition, it also goes through the cross-reference editor (the person who makes sure any other relevant entries are addressed), the pronunciation editor, the etymologist (who traces the word's historical origins), the person who keys it into the system, the copy editor, and the proofreader.
You may assume that someone who makes a living defining words is a stickler for language rules. But lexicographers might understand better than anyone that there’s no one right way to speak English, and the “correct” version of any language is determined by its speakers. “Sometimes when people learn that I work on a dictionary, they worry that I am judging how they write or speak, and nothing could be further from the truth,” Erin McKean, the lexicographer in charge of the online dictionary Wordnik, tells Mental Floss. “I love English, and I love all the different ways to speak and write English. I'm much more likely to ask you to make up a word for me than I am to criticize the words you use!” So if you find yourself in a conversation with a dictionary editor, feel free to use slang and mix up farther and further—you’re in a safe space.
Lexicographers know more words than the average person, but if you ask them to pick a favorite, they may decline to answer. "You’re not allowed to play favorites," Sheidlower says. "You have to put in words that you dislike, you can’t spend more time researching words that you do like. It’s not personal [...] Just like if you’re a parent, you’re not allowed to say that one child is your favorite, which is generally the metaphor lexicographers will use when they’re asked that question."
For most of the job’s history, lexicographers found new words by reading as many books as possible. Reading is still an important part of their work, but thanks to the internet, they have a greater variety of materials to pull from than ever. Emily Brewster mentions Google Books and online corpora—collections of text excerpts from different places, sometimes related to a particular subject—as some of her favorite sources for researching new words and their definitions and origins. But her most reliable resource is a popular social media site. “I really like Twitter in general,” Brewster says. “From Twitter, I get to a huge variety of sources. It’s a really good network for connecting with all kinds of publications.”
Welcome to the Sunday Interview- Human in every sense of the word.
As humans there are five main senses that we rely on to navigate through this world. And there is one that we all possess but do not necessarily use all the time…
Sight, Hearing, Touch, Taste, Smell….Sixth Sense.
You can choose to write about one sense or all of them, including that elusive sixth sense we have clung on to from the early days of man.
If you would like to participate then here are the details along with my take on senses:https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-new-sunday-interview-series-human-in-every-sense-of-the-word-starting-sunday-june-30th-2019/
This week’s guest is no stranger to most of you joining us this morning. Non-Fiction author D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) has been writing the Travel Column on Smorgasbord for the last year, enticing us to travel to wonderful destinations, to be safe and to get the best from our vacations… She has also become the Comedian in Residence, joining me a couple of times a week in a quest to bring a smile to your faces.
My sixth sense superpower is my inner warning signal, urging me to take a pause and pay immediate attention to an occurrence. The delivery method to this sense is through my stomach. When something isn’t right, this messaging system is almost always never wrong, the knots within, feeling like twisted intestines, take hold.
I do believe many of us have an inner alert system, flagging us to pay extra attention to a wrong-doing or danger. We have only to recognize these inner warnings so we may act on them. It’s important though to assess what we are feeling to help identify what exactly isn’t sitting right with us. Is it a feeling of unease or just plain fear? If you aren’t well versed on being able to decode these warning issues, then perhaps this isn’t your superpower. But for me, I’ve never been led astray when my twisted insides are trying to get my attention.
Now, truth be told, my radar alerts are almost always warnings portending to something bad coming. It’s quite possible my intuition knows I don’t require a happiness warning, as pure joy is what comes naturally when elated. With me, it’s a message of doom that stirs within. My intestines are like my Achille’s heel.
Through the years and decades, I’ve sadly had too many of these awakening moments, and I’ll share here just one incident to demonstrate how this feeling transpires. This IAS (inner alert system) is something I can’t really explain, but I know its presence well.
This incident stays with me till this day and was a confirmation to myself for the first time that I was able to receive premonitions.
I was twenty-five and living in my same cozy apartment I’d lived in for some 7 years by this point. I sat in front of my vanity table putting on the finishing touches of my makeup to get ready for work when I felt a sharp pull on my heartstrings and an uncomfortable twisting of my insides. I put down the lipstick and leaned back in my chair as unexplained tears began spilling down from my freshly mascaraed eyes. I didn’t question what I was feeling. I knew instinctively the weird feelings I was experiencing had nothing to do with my own health. I knew something was wrong with my father.
I darted out of my chair, heading to the phone to call my father, and before I could pick up the receiver I was startled by the ringing of the phone. I made note of the time – half past 7, and everyone knows calls coming in at that time of the morning aren’t usually good news. . . please continue reading at Sally’s blog . . .
Do you have a Superpower?
Source: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Human in Every Sense of the Word – My Sixth Sense – IAS (Inner Alert System) D.G. Kaye | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine
Follow Me on Social Media!
Name: D.G, Kaye job Title: Author Business: DGKayewriter.com Image: https://dgkayewriter.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/eye-3142293_1280.png Facebook Url: Facebook Instagram Url: Instagram LinkedIn Url: LinkedIn Pinterest Url: Pinterest
“They were innocent!” she protested. “So was my sister. In every sense of the word. I made sure no one touched Erin and knocked her up, like you. The one.
What is "the true sense" of "a stupid person" or "an idiot"?
In what way is there more than one sense of "a stupid person" or "an idiot"?
If there is no obvious "true sense" of a word, then it seems meaningless to me to use "in the true sense of the word". If there isn't more than one meaning of a word, then there seems to me to be no point in saying "in every sense of the word", although "in every sense" does not have the same degree of error as "in the true sense".
In the original, gentleman, example, both expressions have a clear meaning and, as panjandrum, dojibear and I have pointed out, they are different. While both expressions are common, this does not mean you can use them with every word. For many words it makes no sense to use either, for some words you can use one but not the other and for a few words you can use either, but they will always have different meanings.
Note also that the by "sense of the word", you really are focusing on just one word: "stupid" rather than "a stupid person". If you want to refer to more than one word, then use "expression" rather than "word".
Liking what they saw, they have sent him back every two years since. said, “He is a gentleman in every sense of that word, and people respond to that. .. He has an older brother and sister who are twins and three younger.