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How Do You Spell Cd Rom?


In Business This Week

HOW DO YOU SPELL CD-ROM?

Zyxt. No, that's not an especially ugly typo, it's the last of 616,500 entries in the second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, first published in 1989 and now available on CD-ROM.

That's right, CDs, those shiny little discs associated more often with Garth Brooks or Sir Mix-a-Lot than with the biography of the English language. It's not just an electronic dictionary, either. Fancy search-and-retrieval software, courtesy of AND Software of Rotterdam, lets Scrabble freaks find all words in which the letter "q" is not followed by the letter "u." Or lawyers can find out what a word meant when lawmakers used it 200 years ago. BUSINESS WEEK editors can look up the phrase "young fogey" and take quiet pride in knowing that their magazine is cited to show how the word is used.

And zyxt? It's an obsolete word meaning "see," worth many Scrabble points.EDITED BY HARRIS COLLINGWOOD


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