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In specialized translation projects, we experience on a daily basis the reality that the terms used in the jargon of some engineers are not endorsed or approved by the prestigious dictionaries.

Our mission is difficult, since we are faced with the dilemma of using a term used commonly in industry-specific jargon but considered academically incorrect, or using the “correct” term but that is not used by specialists in their daily vocabulary.

What a dilemma! There are, as always, arguments for and against both positions.

In this sense, there is a recent case with the word “rumorology”.

The prestigious Merriam-Webster dictionary has accepted a Russian proposal to incorporate the word “rumorology” into the dictionary.

The definition of this word is: “the study or practice of spreading rumors.”

This is a good example of how the participation and integration of readers around the world affects change in updating databases, such as dictionaries.

As a living language, English, like many other languages, creates words constantly to give a name to new realities and it is necessary that words that appear in technical reports on new technologies or new facts not be incorrect, but that they have the support of important academic institutions.

Books have even been written about rumorology. One of them is by Cass R. Sunstein: ” <!– @page { margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } —On Rumors: How Falsehoods Spread, Why We Believe Them, What Can Be Done.” In the first part of the book, Mr. Sunstein explains how rumors and falsehoods are spread and why we believe them. In the second, shorter, part of the book, he tries to explain what to do to prevent the spread of false rumors. He even explains the legal framework of the activities of dissemination and publication of false rumors. This book works as criticism and has been a success.

The happy ending to this story is that as specialized translators is that the specific term we need for our works was introduced and quickly incorporated as “correct” by the dictionary.

(Spanish version:

On Rumors: How Falsehoods Spread, Why We Believe Them, What Can Be Done.