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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Defined Intervention

Ian Brookes—the editor working on the next edition of The Chambers Dictionary—is on the side of genealogists. He has "resisted the temptation to toss words out, even if that meant adding more pages." He notes that rare words are "often looked up by people drawing up family trees."

For example, "mallemaroking"—a word meaning the "carousing of seamen in ice-bound ships." Or "jobernowl," meaning "blockhead." Without Chambers, the genealogist would be left to wonder why her great-grandfather was set adrift by Admiral Peary for being a "mallemaroking jobernowl."

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