Books: Surveying The State of the Lingo THE RANDOM HOUSE DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

THE RANDOM HOUSE DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE: SECOND EDITION, UNABRIDGED 2,510 pages; $79.95

Hopefully, you no longer object to sentences that begin with the modifier hopefully. If you do, forget it; the battle is lost. On the other hand, if you still insist that infer and imply mean two different things, hang tough, despite accusations of being a word prig; this is one the word prigs could win. As for the plural-singular identity crises suffered by words like data and media, stand by; they could go either way.

Such are some of the bulletins to be gleaned from the second edition of the unabridged Random House Dictionary of the English Language. "A storehouse and...