In what sense is the OED the definitive record of the English language?

By November 17, 2016,
Page834-845
AuthorPius ten Hacken
TitleIn what sense is the OED the definitive record of the English language?
AbstractOED (2011) presents itself as “Oxford English Dictionary | The definitive record of the English language”. Superficially, this claim may seem a marketing slogan, but Simpson’s (2000) preface to the third edition shows that it is a reflection of the editors’ understanding of their dictionary, what may be called their ‘lexicographic ideology’. In this paper, I consider the claim from three perspectives. Section 1 presents the foundations of the claim as formulated in the preface. Section 2 analyses the claim with regard to some relevant insights gained in linguistic theory since work on the first edition of the OED started. Section 3 discusses some of the practical reflections of the ideology of recording as opposed to prescribing. Finally, section 4 formulates some general conclusions.
SessionOther topics
KeywordsOED, language, usage notes, dictionaries of record, dictionary use
BibTex
@InProceedings{ELX12-080,
author = {Pius ten Hacken},
title = {In what sense is the OED the definitive record of the English language?},
pages = {834--845},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 15th EURALEX International Congress},
year = {2012},
month = {aug},
date = {7-11},
address = {Oslo,Norway},
editor = {Ruth Vatvedt Fjeld and Julie Matilde Torjusen},
publisher = {Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies, University of Oslo},
isbn = {978-82-303-2228-4},
}
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