Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Ask Oxford; Receive answer from Lynn

I was just browsing through the FAQ section of Ask Oxford, the online presence of the Oxford English dictionary, and I've found an error: One entry reads:

There are allegedly three words in the English language that contain two u's in a row - one is vacuum, do you know what the others are?

There are three originally Latin words, apart from vacuum, containing -uu- in use in English. The common one is continuum; the less common are menstruum and triduum.

However, I can think of another word that contains uu: duumvir (and its other forms, such as duumvirate), which refers to a leader of a system of government in which two people jointly hold power.

Not good, Oxford. But at least the site's handling of that annoying "-gry" riddle that I keep getting sent is on the ball.


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