Thursday, January 31, 2008

Wordly (for Worldly)

Sadly, in a word, this is one that really should be one, but somehow isn't. There are 24 instances in OhioLINK of Wordly and, although some are intentional puns (as seems only apt in this case), most of them are typos for worldly. The men who began compiling the Oxford English Dictionary in 1860 were undoubtedly both worldly and wordly, perhaps none so much as the "madman" in Simon Winchester's wonderful book The Professor and the Madman—William Chester Minor, pictured here.

Note: The Urban Dictionary includes the word wordly, claiming it means both "awesome" and "indeed." Wordly.

Carol Reid

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