There is probably no better indicator of the intellectual decline of our culture than the status of our dictionaries and encyclopedias. The latter have completely disappeared in physical form. Their position has been taken by Wikipedia, which is constantly updated in an attempt to soil our heritage and misinform us about current events. Yet, even dictionaries are no longer seen as hallow. Just think back of how quickly the definition of the term “vaccination” was changed so that the infamous Covid mRNA gene therapy juice could be labelled a vaccination as well.
However, the quality of dictionary entries themselves also suffers. Long gone seem the days when dictionary editors had been educated to a very high standard. There is one example I recently came across that illustrates this very well. I had come across the term “letter of marque” in a book I was reading, so I looked it up, and this is what I found:
I highlighted the problem. This kind of chaining with the conjunctive “and” used to be flagged even in primary school. Today, such a rudimentary command of the English language, however, is no impediment to getting a job editing the Oxford Dictionary of English.