Three years ago today, Oxford Dictionaries responded to a tweet from William Shatner about the word Levidrome in a YouTube video labelled Oxford Dictionaries: Levidrome. You may have seen the video, but some people enjoy reading instead. As of writing of this article the video has been viewed almost 10,000 times.
Below we have put together a transcript from that video. Happy reading.
I am Rebecca and I am an editor for Oxford Dictionaries.
Two weeks ago, William Shatner tweeted us to let us know about a new word.
This word was "Levidrome" meaning a word that becomes a different valid word when read backwards, for example "stop" and "pots" or "god" and "dog".
It was created by six year old Levi Budd in Canada.
Since then, media outlets have picked up on it and have covered the levidrome campaign.
So, Levi, there are many new words every year, some very clever ones, and some very useful one. We don't add all of these words to our dictionary - we'd never sleep if we did!
Instead, we only add the words that get used by a lot of people for a long time.
Lots of people know your word, and they know what it means, which means "levidrome" is well on its way into our dictionary.
After just five weeks, that's really impressive.
The next thing we need to see is people using the word levidrome not just part of your campaign, but whenever they are talking about a word that becomes another word when you read it backwards, and some people are saying that they have started doing this!
Then all we do is wait, and hope that people keep using your word.
We have a list of all the words we want to keep an eye on, and levidrome is on that list. In a year or so, if lots of people are still using your word, it might well get into our dictionary.
Thanks for watching.
Ironically, if you throw the transcript into our levidrome finder, there were 44 levidromes in their verbiage (using the non-insane english list), include 4 levidromic pairs (which were cited in their examples).