But my lifetime love affair with the OED is at risk. " You know the sort of thing; those of us who have survived for years without a mobile phone have to put up with it all the time.The sixth edition has just been published and - I feel a small shudder as I write these words - it has fallen victim to fashion. Indeed, you may well have functioned perfectly well until now spelling leapfrog without a hyphen. My old friend Amanda Platell, who graces these pages on Saturdays, has an answerphone message that says the caller may leave a message but she'd Of course it should.It has removed the hyphen from no fewer than 16,000 words. The spell-check (sorry: spellcheck) on my computer is happy with both. There are fewer letters in that hideous word and think how much time I could have saved typing it.) The texters also have economy on their side.So in future we are required to spell pigeon-hole, for instance, as pigeonhole and leap-frog as leapfrog. But that's not why I feel betrayed by my precious OED. It has happened because we are changing the way we communicate with each other, which means, says the OED editor Angus Stevenson, that we no longer have time to reach for the hyphen key. No time to make one tiny key-stroke (sorry: key stroke). Are our lives really so pressured, every minute occupied in so many vital tasks, every second accounted for, that we cannot afford the millisecond (no hyphen) it takes to tap that key? No, there's another reason - and it's far more sinister and deeply troubling. It costs almost nothing to send a text message compared with a voice message. I must also concede that some voice messages can be profoundly irritating.
following months of conversations with her on an internet chatroom.
If the recipient of the message has to spend ten minutes trying to translate it, those precious minutes are being wasted. It means: "In my humble opinion you are great." But, once again, how would you know?
Let me anticipate the reaction to this modest little rant against the text revolution and the OED for being influenced by it. It is constantly evolving and anyone who tries to get in the way is a fuddy-duddy who deserves to be run down. One of the joys of the English language and one of the reasons it has been so successful in spreading across the globe is that it is infinitely adaptable.
But Mold Crown Court heard on Thursday that the girl did not exist and that he had been chatting with a vigilante from Dark Justice - an organisation that tries to catch paedophiles by posing as children online.
When he arrived in Newcastle, Ellis was challenged by a member of the group before being arrested by police.
Footage of the confrontation in April shows the defendant sat in his car with a packet of sweets in his hand as he admits his vile intentions.