Author Topic: word suggestion - woodrat  (Read 439 times)

mkenuk

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word suggestion - woodrat
« on: February 14, 2021, 05:35:00 PM »
re the towards 7-by-many

I tried woodrat but got 'sorry, not known'

I suspect that this is one of those terms which can be written as one word or two (woodrat / wood rat). His other name is packrat  which can also be written as pack rat.
COD has woodrat (one word)

Anyway, he's quite cute and not at all a 'dirty rat' , so can he be added to Chi, please?

les303

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Re: word suggestion - woodrat
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2021, 06:35:57 PM »
G'day Mike,
I also considered suggesting woodrat for inclusion.
I went to Mr. Google & he gave me a couple of book titles that seem to support your argument

The Allegheny Woodrat

The Evolutionary History and a Systematic Revision of Woodrats of the Neotoma Lepida Group

But then i checked my Macquarie & neither woodrat or packrat were listed so i did not put forward the suggestion.

Alan, when responding to Mike's word suggestion, could you also please explain to me why woodrat would be listed in Mike's COD but not in my compact Macquarie or i am just naive in thinking that surely all dictionaries would have to be the same & if indeed they are not all the same what makes one correct over the other?

pat

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Re: word suggestion - woodrat
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2021, 08:58:04 PM »

Alan, when responding to Mike's word suggestion, could you also please explain to me why woodrat would be listed in Mike's COD but not in my compact Macquarie or i am just naive in thinking that surely all dictionaries would have to be the same & if indeed they are not all the same what makes one correct over the other?

I know you asked Alan, Les, but I'm chipping in anyway. It's not a question of one being more correct than another but a question of space. The full Oxford dictionary runs to 20 volumes for example. I have the two-volume shorter Oxford dictionary and the three-volume Merriam-Webster, both of which obviously contain many thousand fewer words than the full version but also thousands more than a pocket dictionary. Smaller dictionaries will contain the words that lexicographers think will be of most use to people. No doubt different lexicographers have different ideas.

les303

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Re: word suggestion - woodrat
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2021, 09:28:46 PM »
Thanks Pat, that makes perfect sense.

mkenuk

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Re: word suggestion - woodrat
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2021, 10:41:25 PM »
Another feature of the full OED is a history of each word - examples from history and quotations from literature.
This is what takes up most of its almost 22,000 pages. 

As of 2018 they had completed about half of the work needed for a third edition.
This is anticipated to be completed in 2037. 
It will never be printed, of course, simply published electronically.





Alan W

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Re: word suggestion - woodrat
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2021, 12:09:28 PM »
Les, adding to what pat and MK said, in this case there is the issue of whether to write it as one word or two, or perhaps hyphenated. I don't know how dictionaries decide which variant to list, but often they select one and don't list any alternatives. The online Macquarie has wood rat as two words, but I don't know if that is included in the compact edition.

Another factor is that some dictionaries are aimed at a particular audience. In the case of the Macquarie, its claim to fame is as a record of English as used in Australia. The woodrat (or wood rat) being a creature from North and Central America, the editors might have thought it was a term they could leave out of their smaller editions, as the word is very seldom used here in Aus.

Anyhow, as the one-word form woodrat is listed by some of the Oxford dictionaries including the online one, and it is in use, I'll add it as a rare word. I think the other name for this animal, the pack rat is somewhat better known, because it's also used in a figurative sense, for a hoarder. For some reason the online Oxford gives this as two words, without any alternative, but Dictionary.com lists packrat as a variant. So I'll add that as a rare word too.
Alan Walker
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les303

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Re: word suggestion - woodrat
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2021, 07:14:31 PM »
Les, adding to what pat and MK said, in this case there is the issue of whether to write it as one word or two, or perhaps hyphenated. I don't know how dictionaries decide which variant to list, but often they select one and don't list any alternatives. The online Macquarie has wood rat as two words, but I don't know if that is included in the compact edition.

Another factor is that some dictionaries are aimed at a particular audience. In the case of the Macquarie, its claim to fame is as a record of English as used in Australia. The woodrat (or wood rat) being a creature from North and Central America, the editors might have thought it was a term they could leave out of their smaller editions, as the word is very seldom used here in Aus.

Anyhow, as the one-word form woodrat is listed by some of the Oxford dictionaries including the online one, and it is in use, I'll add it as a rare word. I think the other name for this animal, the pack rat is somewhat better known, because it's also used in a figurative sense, for a hoarder. For some reason the online Oxford gives this as two words, without any alternative, but Dictionary.com lists packrat as a variant. So I'll add that as a rare word too.

Thanks for the in depth explanation Alan.
You may even remember when i finally upgraded my reference material.
When i first started playing chihuahua i soon realised that it might be handy to have a dictionary to check my spelling, especially for the challenge games.
So i searched around & found an old school dictionary in the bottom of a cupboard, it was the 1974 Oxford school edition which served me very well.
It was a bit tattered & had a few pages missing here & there so i was delighted when a close family member gifted me the compact Macquarie which is what i use today & will never be discarded.
I suppose that eventually i will have to get used to the idea of viewing the more comprehensive dictionaries on line.. ugh!
Alan, the reason that i am rabbiting on about dictionaries ( or lack there of ) is because of a photo that you posted some years ago when there was a similar discussion about dictionaries.
It was a photo of you sitting at your desk with an opened dictionary which was just a little larger than my Oxford school dictionary.
I would love to see it again (i've had no luck trying to find it in the forum search history ) & i am sure that those that have not seen it before will be mightily impressed.

PS - So sorry about the inconsiderate & ill conceived " vizal " joke the other day.






Jacki

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Re: word suggestion - woodrat
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2021, 10:37:49 PM »
Les I cannot speak for anyone but myself - I still prize my physical dictionaries and I think Alan took the Vizar dig as most Australians do - tongue in cheek and if you're having a go at someone you like them and it's a bit of sport. Well I hope so anyway.... For your sake!

Alan W

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Re: word suggestion - woodrat
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2021, 10:52:18 AM »
I think this is the post you were looking for, Les.
Alan Walker
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les303

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Re: word suggestion - woodrat
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2021, 01:17:46 PM »
Les I cannot speak for anyone but myself - I still prize my physical dictionaries and I think Alan took the Vizar dig as most Australians do - tongue in cheek and if you're having a go at someone you like them and it's a bit of sport. Well I hope so anyway.... For your sake!

G'day Jacki,
I think that other followers of the thread were more concerned about that post than Vizal would have been.
Have you backed Ole Kirk today?

les303

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Re: word suggestion - woodrat
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2021, 01:19:10 PM »
I think this is the post you were looking for, Les.

Thanks Alan, that is the photo that i was looking for.

Jacki

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Re: word suggestion - woodrat
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2021, 09:47:37 PM »
Hi Les - The last bet I had was when our comp finished. I'm pretty much just a Spring Carnival better.

Calilasseia

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Re: word suggestion - woodrat
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2021, 11:17:02 AM »
Since rodents have put in an appearance here, I thought I'd mention one that has a truly wonderful name.

Dinomys branickii.

Otherwise known as, wait for it ... Count Branicki's Terrible Mouse.

In its native South America, indigenous peoples call it the Pacarana.

Though at 33 lbs in weight, it's bigger than any mouse most of us are likely to encounter.

Scientists have apparently determined that it belongs properly in the Family Dinomyidae, which translates as "Terrible Mice". Though it's closer to guinea pigs morphologically than true mice.

One of its extinct relatives was much bigger. Namely, the wonderfully named Josephoartigasia monesi, which was, in effect, a guinea pig the size of a Nissan Micra car. Exceptional specimens of that beast had a body mass of 1,000 kg or so. The fossil skull that was found belonging to this animal is nearly 2 feet long. What we have here is a rodent whose skull is large enough to act as a vivarium for a modern day guinea pig. :)
Remember: if the world's bees disappear, we become extinct with them ...

birdy

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Re: word suggestion - woodrat
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2021, 01:38:36 PM »
Calilasseia, I'm sure Australians are very happy that both the pacarana and that huge extinct relative are not likely to be found among the current mouse invasion. The pictures and stories I've seen are truly alarming, even for someone as fond of rodents as I am.