Every so often I run across commenters, on this blog and on others, complaining that something "isn't a word" -- thus, for instance, a few minutes ago a commenter posted, in response to a post that mentioned "copyeditors,"
Uh... "copyeditor" isn't a word.
Uh, check here (which commenter Steve P. promptly did, and promptly posted about). Likewise, a blogger who was unhappy with InstaPundit's reference to "beclowning" asked, "Why are people making up words?" (He later retracted the question; thanks to Tim Blair for the tip.) See also this apparent attempt to deny the wordosity of "childlike."
I don't want to get in to the prescriptivist/descriptivist debate here; for now, can I simply ask that, if people want to claim that something "isn't a word" -- not just is an ugly word, but isn't a word at all -- or that someone is "making up words," they just do a bit of checking? I can understand how someone can miss "beclown," which doesn't show up in onelook, though it's in the less easily available Oxford English Dictionary. But a onelook.com query or a dictionary.com query will quickly find "copyeditor." It just helps to do a little fact-checking lest you -- well, you know.