Emily Morris surveys the 2,303 edits made to the Wikipedia entry for Nabokov's Lolita
since it was first created, some ten years ago. The entry still draws an edit every other day or so, and Morris's analysis of the different sorts of edits coming in illuminates something of the difficulty of converging on consensus about seemingly straightforward subjects like the plot of a novel.
The constant back-and-forth over word choice is just a microcosm of the same (albeit slightly less charged) issue of relaying the plot. This revision from January 2007 changes “rhapsodize over Lolita in her sleep” to “sexually molest Lolita without fear of discovery.”
Case History Of A Wikipedia Page: Nabokov’s 'Lolita'
Kory Stamper, author of the new book Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries describes three criteria Merriam-Webster uses for inclusion of words like truther, binge-watch, photobomb and the 1,000 other words that make the cut in a typical year.
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