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Oxford University Press 'has archive of non-words'

5th August 2010

An archive of words that have not been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has been used as part of a university project.

Kingston University student Luke Ngakane found out about Oxford University Press' vault of 'failed words' when working on his graphic design degree and decided to contact the organisation.

'This storeroom contains millions of words and some of them date back hundreds of years. It's a very hush, hush vault and I really struggled to find out information about it because it is so secretive,' he explained

Mr Ngakane was sent a selection of words by Oxford University Press and used 39 of them in his printing project.

Among the words held in the archive are 'espacular' (something that is especially spectacular), 'nonversation' (a pointless conversation) and 'wurfing' (using the internet when working).

Fiona McPherson, senior editor of the OED's new words group, added that the words are not 'rejects' and could be included in the dictionary if they enter into common usage.

At the end of 2009, Oxford University Press announced that its word of the year was 'unfriend', which means to remove someone from a friend list on a social networking website.

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