Gary Rinsem


Many thanks to a new friend for providing this bit of entertainment. The following journal entry is the result of today's conversation with Anna.

Most of my life I've recalled an incident from high school. It involved the mispronunciation of the word supposedly. The high school library had all three of the giant dictionaries, Oxford, Cambridge and Merriam-Webster. In my first or second year of high school, a group of us went to the library to answer the question "Is supposably a word?" It's not a word. It is a simple mispronunciation of a real word. Even the spell check in the software I'm using to write this journal entry, flags "supposably" as being incorrect and offers "supposedly" as the only possible correction.

After repeated uses of the non-word "supposably," I pointed out to Anna that she was using a word which doesn't exist. A quick internet search proved how inaccurate internet search results have become. We were convinced that "supposably" IS a word.

I feel like an idiot for falling victim to internet bullshit, but has been a reliable source for the last twenty years. When Anna said it was on, I actually believed it was true and I couldn't stop laughing until I had the chance to research the truth. For a short time I actually believed "supposably" had been added to the English language! Even if the internet bullshit were true, the bullshit definition is incorrect for Anna's use of "supposably." The definition of the word "supposedly" is correct for her context. Exactly as I said in the conversation.

It takes more research to learn the truth.

In the early 2000's, jumped to the top of search results on all of those old search engines. I studied out of a desire to know how it got to the top of searches AND how it got the data it supplied as definitions in search results.

The company was about five years old and made good use of new methods to get their site in the search results. They were suddenly making money selling advertising.

For their money making content, was mining all three of the English world's authoritative dictionaries. Oxford, Cambridge and Merriam-Webster. is no longer mining those three dictionaries. Instead, they have formed an alliance with the book publisher Random House. It appears as though Random House bought the rights to use and publish a portion of Merriam-Webster's dictionary. is now providing their content from the 75,000 words that Random House is allowed to use.

Today, the word "supposably" is still in none of those dictionaries, not even the cut down Random House version of Merriam-Webster. "Supposably" is still NOT a word in the English language.

When did add "supposably" to their dictionary?

Sorry, they didn't add a made up word to their dictionary. DOES NOT HAVE a dictionary. They simply began adding it to their search results.

Four months ago, pulled a publicity stunt by announcing the addition of the word to their dictionary.

Popular mispronunciation

It's a funny coincidence that the conversation with Anna was effected by that recent stunt. I will no longer believe anything said by Their search results are now meaningless, since those results are no longer the definitions from ENGLISH DICTIONARIES.