Susan Butler was The Editor of the Macquarie Dictionary, Australia’s national dictionary, and, as Editor, was largely responsible for the selection and writing of new words. In 2017 the Seventh Edition of the dictionary was published, with a revised and updated range of dictionaries in print, online and in digital and app forms. Susan retired as Editor at the end of 2017.
She has written the Dinkum Dictionary, published in its third edition in 2009. In 2014 she wrote The Aitch Factor, a commentary on usage matters in Australian English. She is also a regular commentator on Australian English on radio, television and the internet and was a TEDxSydney speaker in 2015.
In June 2018, she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia.
'The habit of a lifetime is hard to break and so I don’t imagine that I will suddenly cease to notice new words and new usages in Australian English simply because I am no longer The Editor of the Macquarie Dictionary.
Indeed, I relish the freedom with which I can now express myself on MY likes and dislikes with regard to these changes in language. As Editor it was appropriate to retain a certain neutrality and objectivity, but as Sue Butler, lexicographer at large, I can indulge my own feelings and reactions.
This blog will entertain me, constituting as it does a more haphazard and less formal approach to language change than is found in a dictionary, one that develops entirely according to whim. If it entertains others also, I will be delighted.'
Sue Butler AO
Lexicographer at large