Posts Tagged: Oxford English Dictionary

It’s Scrumdiddlyumptious

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The Oxford English Dictionary is doing its part to celebrate Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday by including some of his most memorable made-up words in the new edition, according to the Guardian: Michael Proffitt, chief editor of the OED, said: “The inclusion in OED of a number of words coined by or associated with Roald Dahl reflects […]

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Shakespeare Didn’t Make up as Many Words as We Think

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For the Guardian, Alison Flood writes on the bias of the Oxford English Dictionary towards “famous literary examples” instead of the actual origin, resulting in the incorrect attribution of several still-used words and phrases to Shakespeare. Flood writes that there are multitudes of evidence showing earlier usages of phrases such as “wild goose chase” and “it’s Greek […]

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Trolls Gonna Troll

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We don’t like being told “no.” At least not according to preliminary votes from Oxford Dictionaries’ attempt to collect data on English speakers’ least favorite words in late August. Unfortunately, while the publishers of the OED did get a number of legitimate responses, they shut down the contest after one day because Internet users can’t help […]

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Examining the Dictionary for Sexism

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We need to know that the dictionary, as an institution, has a cultural power beyond the sum of its parts…And that does carry with it a responsibility to realize that we exist within that tension, and to not always hide behind the idea of descriptivist lexicography Over at the New Yorker, Nora Caplan-Bricker compiles stories […]

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The Making of the OED

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The Oxford English Dictionary, the first comprehensive catalog of the English language, took seventy years to compile. Volunteers aided the project, and one of the biggest contributors happened to be a murderer who lived in an insane asylum: Through the years, the OED’s editor had enlisted hundreds of volunteers around the English-speaking world, and probably […]

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The Year of Vaping

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The Oxford Dictionaries “Word of the Year” has been announced, and young people around the world will be called upon to explain the word “vape”—and its significance as part of cultural shifts surrounding marijuana and tobacco—to their older relatives in the coming days. The dictionary folks acknowledge that folks have been “vaping” since the early […]

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Too Much Fun With The OED

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It looks like Nick Martens over at The Bygone Bureau is having too much fun with his OED subscription. “To those who would say that there is nothing “secret” about the publicly available Oxford English Dictionary, or that browsing said publication’s website for an hour hardly constitutes a “history,” I have prepared the following response: […]

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