It’s the sound of word lovers mobilizing to save their favorite bits of under-used English from the dustbin of diction. From the Times (U.K.):
Dictionary compilers at Collins have decided that the word list for the forthcoming edition of its largest volume is embrangled with words so obscure that they are linguistic recrement. Such words, they say, must be exuviated abstergently to make room for modern additions that will act as a roborant for the book.
Translation: These words are being booted out of Collins’s dictionary to make room for words that everybody still uses.
You can help. The Times has organized a voting campaign, asking readers to pick their favorite from a list of 24 threatened words. Some British celebs have already joined the cause:
Andrew Motion, the Poet Laureate, will support skirr, a word he has occasionally used to describe the sound of beating wings. “Iâ€™m a very keen bird-watcher,” he told The Times. “Birders do use this word from time to time so I thought it might have a better chance than others, such as vilipend. I saw 10,000 knot flying over The Wash in the evening recently and the noise they made was a skirring noise.”