The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Ginormous: "I’m a Real Boy!"

According to Boston.com Merriam Webster added the word “ginormous” to the dictionary. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I kind of liked using the word because it wasn’t a word. And now it is one. Where does that leave me?

I don’t know.

I may continue to use it, I’ll just have to wait for an appropriate opportunity.

A little personal aside on this topic – back in about 1985 or 86, when I was attending St. Joseph College in West Hartford, getting an English degree (hard to tell, huh?) I took an etymology class (that’s words, not bugs). Sr. Mary Joan Cook, the professor, took us on a field trip to Merriam Webster. Talk about exciting! It was a big building full of little pieces of paper with words on them. Literally. Picture the old card catalogs at your local library, multiply that by 100 and that’s what the words were stored on. The committee would review new words every year, based on usage in publications they recognized as legitimate (New York Times vs. a comic book). The ones with the most cache and the most likely to be long-lived made the cut and got added, and a couple of Olde Tyme words would drop off to make room. So I am very familiar, actually, with the process they follow, although I’m hoping to God that a lot of the physical paper copies of words and definitions and articles have made their way to some sort of electronic media. That place was a major fire hazard.

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  1. Laurie

     /  July 11, 2007

    That description of M-W sounds AWESOME.

  2. Rob Beland

     /  July 11, 2007

    Interesting post…I recently found your blog and I like it.

    I just started writing a blog. I see you’re from Leominster as I am also.

    I’ll be sure to stop back often and add you to my reader.

    Rob

    Check out my blog

  3. Anonymous

     /  July 11, 2007

    Thanks for the info.. I made a new word sometime ago – “automagical” – means that something happens by itself like by magic.. Guess I need to get it into more print. haha…
    Rob – welcome.. from the “Southside” here.
    Wonder if anyone has driven around town and taken pics of all those neighborhood name signs the city put up ? Morse Hollow, The Flats etc. Jerry

  4. Anji

     /  July 12, 2007

    All those pieces of paper with words on! I love that idea

  5. Bill

     /  July 12, 2007

    Ginormous?

    Where the hell does that come from?

  6. Jody

     /  July 13, 2007

    Hey Rob, welcome! And Bill: Giant+Enormous, silly!

  7. TravisHiroshima

     /  July 15, 2007

    How does one say this “word?” JYE-normous? GEE-normous? GUY-normous? No speaky.