I say finally, however, until about three minutes ago, I had no idea that the words; transman, transwoman, transperson, transphobia, or transphobic weren’t already in the dictionary. An entire community are now validated by the addition of their objectification in the June 2013 list of new word entries for the Oxford English Dictionary. Awesome.
So who do the OED think they are? They claim to be the world’s most comprehensive single-language print dictionary and a hoity-toity authority of words too. Pfffft.
Does the dictionary still have a place in our lives? (I mean, aside from the dreaded Scrabble challenge of course.) Or has it become an obsolete and privileged form of printed language?
I make words up all the time. When my kids were little we’d go hiking and my son would stop in the middle of the trail every 30 seconds to point out some obscure bug. With wide, innocent eyes he would ask the question I dreaded most. “What’s the name of that bug, mommy?” And of course I would make something up. “Why, that’s the BershtaWurshtaBeetaBotta bug, son.” The long scientific name of course. (It has to sound relatively authentic, ’cause it’s a 5 year old’s mission to catch you in a lie.) By the time that boy was 10, I had my own hand-written dictionary of words that I’d made up over the span of his short life. (It’s a marvel he graduated high school at all with his mothers’ schoolin’.)
But who hasn’t done that, right?