Statesman Invents a Word

402468745_87886ae12a_m.jpgThe Statesman tends to be a punching bag around here and, with headlines like this one found on the front page yesterday, they’re going to have a hard time shaking that perception. They’re now inventing words just like the current President that we inflicted on the world.

I’m not sure which language they’re using for this headline, but Webster tells me that “minicity” isn’t a word in the English language. The online version of the article repeats the mistake. I’m too lazy to take a screen shot in case they change it. Who knows if they’ll correct it, but Google helpfully suggests that maybe I meant “mini city” when I did a search. It doesn’t stop them from presenting the Statesman article as the second hit on the search for the word.

3 Comments so far

  1. Editrix (unregistered) on February 26th, 2007 @ 9:54 am

    If you consult your AP stylebook, you’ll see that “mini” as a prefix does not take a hyphen.

  2. Grant Hutchins (unregistered) on February 26th, 2007 @ 6:08 pm

    No dictionary has all words in the English language. Linguists would tell you that language is a fast evolving beast that generates and loses words all the time. A dictionary is merely a guide. “Blog” was a word well before Webster’s figured it out and added it. Plus, we all know what they were saying, so the paper is communicating clearly. (Except that I read it as “min – IHS – uh – TEE” at first)

  3. Rantor (unregistered) on February 27th, 2007 @ 2:23 am

    The AP stylebook is about style, not grammar. Style and grammar are two different matters. Newspaper style usually prescribes omission of the final series comma, but legal style tends to require it, since its omission may lead to misinterpretation of statutory language. In most countries, the final quotation mark is placed before the period or comma; in ours, style and usage call for it to be outside the period or comma. Newspaper style is in some ways about saving space. In English, as it evolves, compound words tend to become one. In some words, a missing hyphen can cause the eye to be fooled momentarily (see second comment). In older printed matter one may find such usage as “to-morrow” and “good-bye.” I personally dislike the evolution of “e-mail,” now in the process of becoming “email.” “Minicity” makes me think of “viscosity.”

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