Why do large historical dictionaries give so much pleasure to their owners and users?

Page579-587
AuthorJohn Considine
TitleWhy do large historical dictionaries give so much pleasure to their owners and users?
AbstractDaunting or repulsive as some of their users find them, large historical dictionaries have also given their owners and users real pleasure. Drawing on evidence from early users of the Oxford English Dictionary by way of example, this paper sets out to examine this pleasure. It discusses simple pride in ownership, highly selective use, patriotic interest in the dictionary as a monument to the history of the English-speaking nations, the simple readerly pleasure of browsing in it, and the more sophisticated experience of intertextual and interactive readings. A brief discussion of the possible electronic future of the dictionary concludes by pointing out the non-trivial relationship between the pleasure which has been derived from it and its physical form as a set of books.
SessionPART 8 - Dictionary Use
KeywordsOxford English Dictionary, sociology of dictionary use, historical lexicography, pleasure.
BibTex
@InProceedings{ELX98_2-034,
author = {John Considine},
title = {Why do large historical dictionaries give so much pleasure to their owners and users?},
pages = {579-587},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 8th EURALEX International Congress},
year = {1998},
month = {aug},
date = {4-8},
address = {Liège, Belgium},
editor = {Thierry Fontenelle, Philippe Hiligsmann, Archibald Michiels, André Moulin, Siegfried Theissen},
publisher = {Euralex},
isbn = {2-87233-091-7},
}
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