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'Siphon' Defined Wrong For 99 Years

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'Siphon' Defined Wrong For 99 Years

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'Siphon' Defined Wrong For 99 Years

'Siphon' Defined Wrong For 99 Years

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Maybe it's because of the uncommonly high regard in which the Oxford English Dictionary is held, but it took 99 years for a user to spot an erroneous definition of a common word. The OED defined siphon as working because of atmospheric pressure. Siphon works thanks to gravity. The dictionary has promised to fix the error.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

Maybe it's because of the uncommonly high regard in which the�Oxford English Dictionary�is held, but it took 99 years for a user to spot an erroneous definition of a very common word. Siphon is now defined as working because of atmospheric pressure. In fact, a siphon works thanks to gravity. The OED has promised to fix the error. Still, the Australian physicist who discovered it said he was as shocked as if the OED had defined a koala as a bear.

It's MORNING EDITION.

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