(London Guardian) The Oxford English Dictionary has apologised after an advance selection procedure chose “bloodbath” as its word of the day on 18 December.

Defining the word as “a battle or fight at which much blood is spilt; a wholesale slaughter, a massacre”, the choice was heavily criticised by Twitter users in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut on 14 December. “Tasteless and gross,” wrote one user. “Seems in very, very poor taste in light of recent events,” said another.

The OED, which emails its choice of a word of the day every day – today’s is “märchen”, defined as “a folk tale, a fairytale, esp. in the Germanic tradition” – has now issued a public apology and explanation for picking “bloodbath”.

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