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Re: [ontolog-forum] Well written blog post re Words and Dictionaries

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2014 12:59:38 -0400
Message-id: <537CDB7A.5050604@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear Matthew,    (01)

I certainly agree:    (02)

> I don't think you should really talk about the history of English
> dictionaries without mentioning Samuel Johnson. Although not the first,
> his is the most famous or early English Dictionaries, published in 1755.    (03)

But the point of David's remark was the literary qualities of
dictionaries in the 20th c.  I quoted the blog that David cited
and commented on some of the points it mentioned.    (04)

> He even used wit and humour, defining a lexicographer as "..a harmless
> drudge, that busies himself in tracing the original, and detailing the
> significations of words".    (05)

That's an example of literary qualities that would never be allowed
by today's publishers.  There are many other examples, such as his
definition of 'oats':  "A grain, which in England is generally given
to horses, but in Scotland supports the people."    (06)

> I don't think the English have ever considered Webster's as anything
> other than a dictionary of American English    (07)

That's true.  But by the late 19th c, Webster's had grown larger
than Johnson's, and it was being used in England.    (08)

John    (09)

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