Wednesday, June 18, 2008

War of the Websters -- Wherein we examine disagreements between dictionaries*


Webster's New World College Dictionary says that, in informal uses, "itch" can be used to mean "scratch."

Merriam-Webster Online does not.

American Heritage's fourth edition fully sanctions "itch" to mean "to stratch (an itch)," without even discounting it with a term like "informal."

*Special thanks to Joe, whose comment sparked this idea!


Joel said...

I love this (recurring, I hope) feature, 'cause, yaknow, I'm more of a morpheme guy. Plus, it pretty definitively shatters--for all but the defiantly self-deluded--the illusions that language is static and that it's governed by an omnipotent central authority.

June Casagrande said...

Plus, it's great ammo when some blowhard gets in your face and says, "You can't say it like that!"

It all comes back to the question: Says who?

(Touche, by the way, on "for all but the defiantly self-deluded.")

: )


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