[python-uk] word chains: impossible ones

Gadget/Steve GadgetSteve at hotmail.com
Sun Jun 17 11:01:32 CEST 2012

On 16/06/2012 11:19 PM, Carles Pina i Estany wrote:
> Hi,
> On Jun/16/2012, Carles Pina i Estany wrote:
>>> How about:
>>> ems -> emu -> emo -> ego -> ago ....
>>> Got to admit that it took the online OED to come up with emo but it is
>>> in there.
> I also have to admin: I saw this mail in the mobile and during the
> afternoon I was thinking... did I have a bug or some of the words wasn't
> in the dict? :-))
I don't think that there is a single dictionary that has all the valid
words in - the OED, (Oxford English Dictionary), is generally considered
the most authoritative but even that, back in the days of paper
dictionaries, used to issue a concise, (most of the words in common
use), complete, (13 volumes), and compact, (2 volumes printed very
small), editions.  The best section of the last two was the Spurious
Words section detailing words that had been introduced by mistakes in
other dictionaries including which first gave the word and which copied
it first. 

If you need a complete, always up to date, dictionary then you need to
work in a dead language like Latin - no new words introduced for over a
thousand years AFAIK or an artificial one, e.g. Esperanto where a
committee or other authority specifies which words are valid.  English
is growing and changing every day as old words are brought back into use
or redefined by individuals and new words introduced by individuals,
organisations and mistakes - all it takes is for something to start
being used by enough people - even brand names and abbreviations picked
to be unique enter the language as they are generalised, e.g. hoover, LED.


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