Humorous 'dickshunary' spotlights student malaprops

A student-inspired “dickshunary,” written by retired BGSU faculty member Dr. Edward Stockwell, was published in October.

The Nu Collitch Dickshunary is a collection of words former students unknowingly submitted in their essays, either used in new ways or spelled incorrectly.

In the 1970s, Stockwell, now a professor emeritus of sociology, began keeping track of the new and unusual words on 3-by-5 cards.

“From the very beginning, when I first started reading and evaluating the student essays, I was struck both by the ingenuity and creativity of today’s young people when it comes to finding the right words to fit in a particular situation, and by the high degree of originality revealed in their spelling habits,” he writes.

By the time Stockwell retired, he had a huge collection of cards. Instead of throwing them away, he decided to take them home with him.

While he was looking through the cards, he decided to create a dictionary. “I had them in alphabetical order, just like in a dictionary, and the idea came to me.”

Stockwell’s favorite entry is as follows: “The Big Dipper is the most famous constipation in our galaxy.”

The dictionary is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Stockwell invites teachers to share similar experiences for inclusion in an expanded version of the dictionary.

Several people have already sent him suggestions. “My cousin, for example, wrote in to ask if she could get a ‘sighned’ copy of the book,” Stockwell said.

January 22, 2008