What would you call a collection of non words?
That question occurs to me with the news that Oxford University Press has a vault containing millions of “non words” notated on 4″ x 6″ cards. These are the words that were rejected for inclusion to the Oxford English Dictionary.
My first thought was along the lines of “wouldn’t that be interesting in book form!” But what would they call it?
Then the word “millions” sunk in. According to the OED’s Wikipedia entry, the dictionary had slightly more than 300,000 entries in November 2005. The last complete edition, published in 1989, was bound in 20 volumes. If you have used the set, you could understand how daunting the publishing of “millions” of entries would be.
So what could we call it? The Oxford English Undictionary?