For some, the thought of blowing dust off a paper-and-ink dictionary and thumbing through the flimsy pages in search of the perfect word is a valiant quest. For others, the task seems needlessly laborious when Google can do the job faster. Blurring the lines between new media and tactile nostalgia, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's campaign to promote their American Heritage Dictionary acknowledges that both methods have their advantages. The solution? Sell both.
"Executives at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt say they do not believe they will sell as many print copies of the new dictionary as they did of previous editions," writes The New York Times. "That is why there is a free companion Web site for the dictionary, at ahdictionary.com. That is also why the dictionary is being made available as an app and for e-readers."
Could this pixelated word search redefine dictionaries? And, if our page turning days are numbered, will we ever have the pleasure of stumbling upon new words, from the phonetically pleasing to those with disturbing etymologies? The latest edition of the American Heritage Dictionary is ripe with putrid diction that may never have been discovered if readers and writers relied on a search bar.
Here are nine nasty words we found that will make you squirm: