For five years, Webster’s New International Dictionary mistakenly included an entry for dord, a word which did not exist.
In the first edition of Webster’s, entries for abbreviations and words had been intermingled — the abbreviation lb (for “pound”), for example, would be found immediately after the entry for the word lazy. In the second edition, however, abbreviations were supposed to be collected in a separate section at the back of the dictionary. In 1931, a card had been prepared bearing the notation “D or d, cont/ density” to indicate that the next edition of the dictionary should include additional definitions for D and d as abbreviations of the word density. Somehow the card became misdirected during the editorial process and landed in the “words” pile rather than the “abbreviations” pile. The “D or d” notation ended up being set as the single word dord, a synonym for density.
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