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December 6, 2016: Zika Added to the American Heritage Dictionary

“When Steve Kleinedler first heard the word glamping, he thought the word wouldn’t be in use for long.

“To be honest, you know, when I first saw this word several years ago, I’m like, ‘Oh, that’ll never stick around, that’s one of those cutesy words that comes and goes and fades away,’” said Kleinedler, executive editor of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.

“But the word – which is defined as camping in a glamorous fashion – has stuck, and is now among more than 400 words and senses added to the dictionary this year.

“Different dictionaries have different philosophies about how it adds words. In the case of the American Heritage Dictionary, they tend not to add words unless it’s one with staying power.

“’We don’t want to put a word in only for it to, you know, fall out of use within the next year,’ Kleinedler said. ‘Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but that’s just not our policy and the way that we approach this.’

“Glamping has become ‘very prominent,’ showing up in newspapers in different regions of the country, blogs and marketing, Kleinedler said.

“’You’ve got a whole commercial industry devoted (to) people who are making these types of purchases, both from in the travel industry and then in the product industry,’ Kleinedler noted. ’It’s a word whose trajectory keeps going upwards, and isn’t going away.’

“That ultimately led to the dictionary’s editorial staff defining it and adding it.

“A selection of the other words and their definitions that made the this year’s cut announced Wednesday include Zika:

“A flavivirus that is transmitted primarily by aedes mosquitoes and that causes a mild disease with symptoms that include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. Infection by the Zika virus in a pregnant woman can cause microcephaly or other brain defects in her infant. The virus can also be transmitted via sexual contact and from mother to child. Also called Zika virus.

For more information about the American Heritage Dictionary and to find words, visit the dictionary’s website."

Source: Wisconsin Public Radio

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