Communications 2000

Assignment #7 - Nachos, anyone?
Friday, December 3, 1999

This week’s assignment is a bit different from those we’ve worked on before, so please read the following carefully.

In class today, we saw that our two collegiate dictionaries differed on the year that ‘dorky’ entered the English language. The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary said 1983; while The Random House Webster’s Collegiate said 1965-70. Over the course of the next week, we will find out how dictionary makers track down the information necessary to identify such dates.

Below is a segment from the article Nachos, anyone? that appeared in the July 1999 OED Newsletter. Use this segment to complete Parts 1 and 2. Next Friday in class, each of you will read your segment in the order I’ll give you then so that we can hear the entire article. The instructions in Parts 1 and 2 are designed to prepare you to read your segment with understanding and without hesitation. If you want to read the complete article, visit the web page at

Your segment of the article

Each student's assignment sheet has a different segment of the article which appears here.


Prepare your work for part 1 on a clean sheet of paper headed with your name, the class name, the due date and the assignment number. Proofread your work for legibility and spelling. Keep a copy for yourself to use in part 2.

Part 1 – Due Monday, December 6, 1999

    1. Write out the words from your segment (each word on a separate line) for which you are uncertain about the meaning or pronunciation.
    2. To the right of each word, write a P if you are uncertain of the pronunciation, and/or an M if you are uncertain of the meaning.
    3. Use your dictionary to look up each word’s meaning and/or pronunciation. You do not need to write these out on the paper you submit.

Part 2 – Due Friday, December 10, 1999

    1. Check with a knowledgeable person for the pronunciation of any words about which you are uncertain.
    2. Practice reading your segment aloud until you can do so audibly and without hesitation.