Treasure-house of the Language

Treasure-house of the Language

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The legendary Oxford English Dictionary today contains over 600, 000 words and a staggering 2, 500, 000 quotations to illuminate the meaning and history of those words. A glorious, bursting treasure-house, the OED serves as a guardian of the literary jewels of the past, a testament to the richness of the English language today, and a guarantor of future understanding of the language. In this book, Charlotte Brewer begins her account of the OED at the point where others have stoppeda€”the publication of the final installment of the first edition in 1928a€”and carries it through to the metamorphosis of the dictionary into a twenty-first-century electronic medium. Brewer describes the difficulties of keeping the OED up to date over time and recounts the recurring debates over finances, treatment of contentious words, public vs. scholarly expectations, proper sources of quotations, and changing editorial practices. With humor and empathy, she portrays the predilections and personalities of the editors, publishers, and assistants who undertook the Sisyphean task of keeping apace with the modern explosion of vocabulary. Utilizing rich archives in Oxford as well as new electronic resources, the author uncovers a history no less complex and fascinating than the Oxford English Dictionary itself.... and appeals issued and reissued over the next few years by the early lexicographers, now preserved in the OED archives, also record many titles ... were in general directed at literary sources, as can be seen by their instructions to readers on nineteenth-century works. ... so (e.g. bruckle, dindle), as well as archaisms (dern), learned or facetious hapax legomena (ambagitory) and nonce- words (debind), anbsp;...

Title:Treasure-house of the Language
Author:Charlotte Brewer
Publisher:Yale University Press - 2007


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