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SubjectRe: How did the Spelling Police miss this one?


Steven Cole wrote:

>
>
>Strictly speaking, you are probably right. According to this:
>http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=canonize
>sense #2 would qualify "canonize". I took the position that the only
>person who could "canonize" anything is an elderly Polish fellow living
>in Rome. But I've been wrong before.
>
>The tortured variant "canonicalize" has seen enough usage to warrant
>this related entry here:
>http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0%2c%2csid9_gci841392%2c00.html
>
>As far as "no such words" go, a descriptive grammar is generally more
>useful for human languages than a prescriptive grammar. Healthy human
>languages allow for growth. See Tao Te Ching 76. (late night rambling)
>
>Steven "verbalizing in his native language, where nouns and adjectives can be verbed" Cole
>
>

There is a subtle issue that we need to consider regarding "canonize"
and its meaning of "to make canonical".
Are we saying:

(a) To add something to the canon

or

(b) To change something so that it conforms to the canon


"Canonize" is ambiguous. Its first definition, to make into a saint, in
fact conforms to (a) above, which, I believe, is NOT the definition we
want! In fact, all of the m-w.com definitions conform to (a).

Unless I misunderstand, we are not adding anything to the canon here.
So even if (b) is (somewhere) an acceptable meaning of "canonize" the
ambiguity obscures what we're intending to say.
On the other hand, "canonicalize", while strange and new, unambiguously
means (b).

Is there an already-existing word which means (b)?


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