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By Sarah Ogilvie

Most folks ponder the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) as a especially British product. started in England one hundred fifty years in the past, it took greater than 60 years to accomplish and, while it was once eventually entire in 1928, the British major minister heralded it as a 'national treasure.' It maintained this snapshot in the course of the 20th century, and in 2006 the English public voted it an 'Icon of England', along Marmite, Buckingham Palace, and the bowler hat. yet this e-book exhibits that the dictionary isn't really as 'British' as all of us proposal. The linguist and lexicographer, Sarah Ogilvie, combines her insider wisdom and event with impeccable examine to teach that the OED is in truth a world product in either its content material and its making. She examines the rules and practices of some of the editors, applies qualitative and quantitative research, and reveals new OED archival fabrics within the type of letters, reviews, and proofs. She demonstrates that the OED, in its use of readers from world wide and its assurance of worldwide English, is actually an international textual content.

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Additional info for Words of the World: A Global History of the Oxford English Dictionary

Sample text

Entering the OED 23 16 There already exist studies on cultural and ideological bias in the OED by Moon (1989), Willinsky (1994), and Benson (2001). 17 See Coleman and Ogilvie (2009) for more on dictionary research methodology, an article that, in part, grew out of the work I did on this book. 18 MP/9/11/1862. Furnivall Circular to the Philological Society, 9 November 1862, p. 3. 2 A global dictionary from the beginning Fling our doors wide! All, all, not one, but all, must enter. Frederick Furnivall (1862), Editor of the dictionary from 1861 to 1879 The first edition (OED1) was officially proposed in 1857, and completed seventy-one years later in 1928.

Second, they were grouped together by the editors themselves as ‘words on or near the frontier line’ whose inclusion and treatment in the dictionary often vexed them. As with all words considered for the dictionary, the inclusion of loanwords and World Englishes depended on their use in written sources. Based on their degrees of naturalization in English written texts, the words were categorized according to four levels, which Murray described as ‘naturals’, ‘denizens’, ‘aliens’, and ‘casuals’.

It is a story we have all accepted for the past forty years. Burchfield’s presentation of himself as the champion of words of the world coincided, in the 1970s, with an increase in scholarly linguistic studies of varieties of English around the world. 13 This analysis of the impact of the spread of English globally, combined with an increase in linguistic descriptions of World Englishes, had resulted in an interest in the lexicographic treatment of words from outside Britain in the OED. 14 This book seeks to investigate the actual coverage given to non-European words by the early editors and Burchfield, the editorial methods of accessing and researching these words, and the editorial policies and practices relating to them.

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