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aglow

According to the New Penguin English Dictionary (1986), aglow means lit up with warmth or excitement.

According to the New Oxford American Dictionary bundled with my Mac, aglow means absolutely nothing.

That was a bit ambiguous, wasn’t it? I wasn’t trying to say that the dictionary said that aglow meant “absolutely nothing.” Rather, I meant that it thought that aglow was not a word. Instead, the online dictionary asked me if I meant “glow” or “allow.”

You decide if you think aglow is a word or not. If I ever compile a dictionary of my own, I’m going to included aglow in it and make it synonymous with alit, which, according to the Penguin dictionary, is the past tense of the verb alight. However, according the the Oxford American dictionary, alighted, not alit, is the past tense of alight, and alit isn’t a word at all.

I’m so confused.

I bet it’s a British/American thing. The Penguin dictionary is British. I don’t need to tell you that the Oxford American dictionary is not British.

I’m Canadian. In most, but not in all cases, when there’s a difference between British and American English, we go with the British version. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure if in Canada we are officially supposed to use aglow and alit or not, but I like the words so I’m going to contend that we do.

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