Tag Archives: oed

A vintage copy of the Concise Oxford Dictionary

I always thought this is what the COD looked like: Until yesterday, when I found a lovely, what might be described as a vintage copy of the book on the Free Books Table we have on the second floor of … Continue reading

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The Correct and Improving Major Byron F. Caws

This is Richard Bond’s second blog post. The Story So Far – At Dr. Johnson’s House in London there is a plaque that reads “Castigavit et emendavit” (“he corrected and improved“) suggesting that these are H. W. Fowler’s words in recognition … Continue reading

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Some words are(n’t) better than others

Michael Proffitt, the new Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, was recently interviewed by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour (see video here) commenting on the place of the largest English dictionary in the modern age. Although the O.E.D. was one of … Continue reading

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A Word on Asphalt

Did you ever see the word “ashfault” in a newspaper, book, article ­– or anywhere else at all? Well, until recently I was unaware of this word’s existence (too). It was only when I read Paul Brian’s usage guide Common … Continue reading

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Jane Austen and imply and infer

K.C. Phillipps, in his book Jane Austen’s English (1970: 51), identified a usage problem in Jane Austen’s language: “The one usage to which the [sic] purist might object is infer in the sense of ‘imply’, though the NED [now OED] (infer … Continue reading

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Eenermost: a gross corruption?

In the one instance in which this word occurs in Jane Austen’s letters it doesn’t mean what the spelling appears to suggest (innermost?): he said the fleas were so starved when he came back from Chawton that they all flew … Continue reading

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Edmund Weiner and English usage guides

We probably all know Edmund Weiner  as one of the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary. But he is also the writer of a usage guide: The Oxford Guide to English Usage. The book first came out  in 1983, and … Continue reading

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