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Neologics:

Pundits and Buffs

Where are the aficionados of our developing English lexicon? Which lexicographers differentiate between the good, the bad, and the unacceptable, serving the world of neologisms as traffic cops, judges, scholars, and coaches. Where, oh where, are the resources to help guide neology and ensure its legitimacy?

Welcome the ENS’s compilation of this important guild -- columnists, authors, linguists, bloggers, and others who give word coinage the respect, veneration, and enjoyment it deserves. If the source in the table below is Internet-based, click on the name to go there (otherwise, write or call per info given). They are shown in alphabetical order, rated ny the ENS membership from 5 (best) to 1 (least), from the standpoint of neology. 

Source

Rating

Comment

American Dialectic Society

5

 The de facto authority on English usage west of the big pond, ADS is serious about words new and old. Their Word of the Year determines the neologisms most likely to succeed. Got a question? Explore their website for answers and e-mailable experts.

Bill CASSELMAN

2

Casselman is the champion of Canadian English. His website is fun, and has several great word lists. Marked down to a “2” because the site’s ethnocentric and because he wants money.

Bob LEVEY

3+

Levey’s Washington Post column has featured a monthly Neologism Contest for over 20 years, but this ended with his death in 2003. Fortunately, the Post continues to sponsor the archives of these clever submissions.

Evan MORRIS

5

Morris’s The Word Detective is the Internet’s friendliest and arguably best site for everyday English. He invites your questions and contributions.

Michael QUINION

5

His World Wide Words website (“international English from a British viewpoint”) is a neologist’s dream. He’s there to discuss, share, and consider coinages and usages, and much, much more.

David ROWAN

4

London-based author, broadcaster, and columnist, Rowan shares his Glossary for the Nineties chapters that categorize neologisms by topic. Also some Brit-politico columns about language.

Barbara WALLDRAFF

4

A senior editor at Atlantic magazine, Wallraff’s “Word Fugitives” column asks readers to create words needed to fill holes in our English lexicon. Impressive reader creativity but a limited harvest .

Dave WILTON

5

Known for his “wordorigins.org” website and several books about English evolution, linguist Wilton also manages a discussion board open to all reasonably serious students and neologists.