Dictionary Stands Corrected
News of a Queensland physicist spotting an error in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) that has remained uncorrected for almost a century has shocked lexicographers.
Dr Stephen Hughes noticed the word siphon is incorrectly defined in reference books because they define a siphon as using atmospheric pressure as its operating force. Hughes points out “It is gravity that moves the fluid in a siphon.”
The Queensland University of Technology lecturer picked the error while looking at an industrial siphon in South Australia transferring water from the Murray River into Lake Bonney. The OED is moving quickly to correct the error and Dr Hughes has been told that their latest revision is up to the letter ‘R’. Dr Hughes was pleased: “I thought, ‘Oh good, just in time’, because ’S' is next.”