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Could You Be More Dense?

March 1, 2016

Webster’s Dictionary is the end-all-be-all of all things correctly English. How could this foolproof resource let anybody down? By being just a little dense. For a brief five year stint, the Webster Dictionary contained a ghost word, “Dord,” which supposedly meant “density.” Only it didn’t because, as previously stated, it’s not a word at all.

Dord” was actually an abbreviation for D or d, cont./density, which implied the addition of the word “density” to the dictionary. The abbreviation got thrown into the new-word pile, and gotten written in as thus. An editor with some time on his hands noticed, in the year of 1939, that “Dord” had no etymology, rolled up his sleeves, and started looking into it. Webster was alerted of the mishap by 1940, and the full removal of “Dord” from all currently printed dictionaries happened by 1947.

Don’t end up with fake words.

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