'Iraq' the only the word in New English Dictionary

21st January 2003

The latest edition of a popular English Dictionary has caused a stir amongst critics. Unlike previous updates of the dictionary where updates would include the addition of words that had become an accepted part of everyday speech, this edition has removed all but one of the words from it.

The word to be left is a proper noun: Iraq.

When asked to comment about the changes to the book the editor informed us:
"This particular edition of the Dictionary reflects the current usage of English. Obviously there are other words that make up the English Language but these are rarely used and can be considered archaic. Of course they still have meaning but their usage has become so infrequent we have decided to remove them from the dictionary.
"To get the best example of what we mean, you only have to look at any English speaking media - be it the news, the radio or the newspapers. All you hear is Iraq, Iraq, Iraq. It has become the most versatile word in the English Language."

Some of the definitions of the word include:

Iraq - Proper Noun
A country of southwest Asia. Site of a number of ancient Mesopotamian civilizations, including Sumer, Akkad, Assyria, and Babylonia, the region fell to Cyrus the Great of Persia (6th century B.C.), Alexander the Great (4th century B.C.), Arabs (7th century), and later to the Ottoman Turks (16th century). It was established as an independent kingdom in 1921 and became a republic after the assassination (1958) of Faisal II. Baghdad is the capital and largest city. Population: 19,925,000.

Iraq - Proper Noun
A term used to hide failure, usually related to specific promises made by oneself or one's party.
Example: "Obviously, if we commit resources to attacking Iraq, this will delay our progress to improving the Nation Health Service"

Iraq - Proper Noun
A term used to make something look insignificant, usually something of a personal nature.
Example: "At a time when we are about to go to war with Iraq I can't believe that the most important thing people are interested in is my affair..."

Iraq - Proper Noun
A term used to highlight the importance of a plan or strategy:
Example: "People believe that war with Iraq is a priority. If it was would I be planning to send a man to Mars?"

Iraq - Proper Noun
A word used to express discomfort:
Example "Iraq, Iraq, Iraq! It's all anybody's talking about at the moment..."