A very tasty word

Think About It

August 15, 1999|By Melody Holmes

Ben and Jerry -- the ice cream gurus from Vermont -- recently combined their dessert crusade with a mission to affect Americans' vocabularies. With the introduction of their new s'mores ice cream bar, the duo (and their company) are launching a campaign to have the popular campfire snack listed as a word in the next edition of the Merriam- Webster Dictionary.

The plan is to give s'mores -- the graham cracker, marshmallow and chocolate treats -- full honors, complete with a pronunciation key. According to Merriam-Webster, words make it into the dictionary when a number of citations can be provided. Citations are examples of a word used in context in a book, magazine, newspaper, etc. They must include bibliographic information on the source from where the example came.

Information on how to participate can be found on the dairy's Web site, www.benjerry.com, and includes a short lesson on how words get into the dictionary.

As part of the campaign, Ben and Jerry's plans to donate Merriam-Webster dictionaries to each of the 375 affiliates of the Literacy Volunteers of America organization, which helps improve the reading skills of adults and children.

If you're interested in helping the Ben and Jerry's campaign, send in citations of the word s'mores to: Ben and Jerry's, Attn: S'mores Citations, 30 Community Drive, South Burlington, Vt. 05403. Or fax: 802-846-1536.

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