VSL// How you can save the words

Every year we chuckle when words like “staycation” or “unfriend” are admitted into our dictionaries. But we often forget about the other, venerable words that get bumped to make room. Feel bad? Fear not. Save the Words, a clever new Web site from Oxford University Press, is doing something about it.

The makers of the Oxford English Dictionary (which catalogs every word in English, ever) have developed the site based on the simple idea that a word won’t die if it gets used often enough. To that end, the site creatively displays a swath of at-risk lexemes, each of which you may adopt by promising to use it at least once a day. This isn’t as easy as it might seem. Try, for instance, using “frutescent”—approaching the appearance of a shrub—or “archiloquy”—the first parts of a speech—naturally. But then, it’s better than speaking a language whose most interesting words come from clever rhymes and Facebook.

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