xiii: Contribute to the Oxford English Dictionary
– thus joining a long line of cranks, obsessives and insomniacs who have helped to build this national monument. The first edition of the OED was, I think, the first work of scholarship produced by deliberately harnessing grass-roots community contributions, a movement now flourishing with Wikipedia, Galaxy Zoo and suchlike.
The online form is fairly straight-forward. I hope I haven’t just missed an already-existing entry and become a time-waster.
While I was in the OED (accessed through public library membership so give them a gold star) I trawled for a few new words:
bathukolpian, bathybius, batie-bum, batologist, battologist
– respectively, deep-bosomed, slime at the bottom of the ocean, an idle person, a person who specializes in plants of the bramble family, and an individual who needlessly repeats the same thing.
(Simon Winchester’s delightful book The Surgeon of Crowthorne should get a mention here for its story of the first OED, its obsessive editor and one of its most dedicated and disturbed contributors.)