Indirect Offensive Language in Dictionaries

By November 17, 2016,
Page 637-641
Author Rik Schutz
Title Indirect Offensive Language in Dictionaries
Abstract Our craft, lexicography, requires a meticulousness that the layman easily confuses with hair-splitting. It is not unthinkable that from this misunderstanding or prejudice the word lexicographer develops into a nickname for a nitpicker/hair-splitter. If someone were called a lexicographer in this derogatory new sense, who would feel offended? The punctilious person whose behaviour inspired the invective and who heard himself called a 'lexicographer' of course. And I, a proud practitioner of the art and craft of lexicography. This paper discusses the indirect offence and considers various possible approaches to the lexicographical treatment of offensive language. Examples are adduced to illustrate how the semantic development of words and changes in social circumstances can cause particular complications. Giving information on the possibly offensive character of terms that originate from stereotypes is certainly something that can increase both the value and popularity of a (certain) dictionary. Developing criteria for selecting the terms that qualify for such an editorial treatment is necessary and far from easy.
Session Different Lexicographical and Lexicological Topics
author = {Rik Schutz},
title = {Indirect Offensive Language in Dictionaries },
pages = {637-641},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 10th EURALEX International Congress},
year = {2002},
month = {aug},
date = {13-17},
address = {KĂžbenhavn, Denmark},
editor = {Anna Braasch and Claus Povlsen},
publisher = {Center for Sprogteknologi},
isbn = {87-90708-09-1},