Thursday, 7 November 2013
word lovers: a rant
John Simpson, editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, is retiring.
He's taken advantage the occasion to let off a bit of steam.
'There is so much waffle and woolly-mindedness,' he says in an interview in The Telegraph. 'Our job is to analyse data, not to love words.'
Well, if there's anyone who knows about the editor of the OED's job it's John Simpson, so I can't argue with that.
But the interview also says that 'In common with most lexicographers, he has an innate distrust of people who claim to "love words" '.
I don't know if that's a fair representation of John Simpson's opinion. I hope not, because I love words.
Is it really a sign of untrustworthiness to take pleasure in the sound of the word ruffian?
Is it wrong to be cheered by the bounce of boing, or to cherish the pernickety precision of penultimate?
May I not have an affection for lush, wombat, sizzle, schloss, acciaccatura, bouteille and tingo?
Ah well. Away with respectability! I am going to love them anyway.
Word To Use Today: one you love. Go on, be a bit of a rogue...