Friday, August 8, 2008

Double-dipping is okay...sometimes

Our Citizens often ask me if a word is valid if it's used in multiple cities. My answer is usually "probably." Of course, though, it depends what you have in mind. For example, there are many regional words like "bubbler," which is sometimes used in Wisconsin instead of "drinking fountain," that can be valid for multiple cities. Keep this in mind:

Every city should have a dictionary that is a complete city guide as a stand-alone reference.

So, this means that a word used all over Wisconsin could be important enough to a number cities to be included in their dictionaries. We'll leave that up to our Citizens.

However, there are certain words that are probably too widespread to really be called a word that helps create a city's local flavor. Nonetheless, if you can make the case that the word has a special place in the local culture, tell that compelling story in your definition and share your view with other visitors to the website.

For example, the word "once" is certainly ubiquitous in the English language, but in Milwaukee, Wisconsin it's used as a seemingly useless end to a request. For example, Badgerinmaine offers us the following example: "Let me see that once."

I hope this clears things up. If not, leave a comment and I'll be happy to clarify.


Tom at City Dictionary

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